PHILADELPHIA – August 18, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced a $200,000 brownfields grant to the City of Baltimore’s Sustainability Office. The grant will support efforts to assess brownfields sites potentially contaminated with hazardous substances so that they can be cleaned up and redeveloped. Baltimore’s Sustainability Office will focus the work of this grant on transforming brownfields into green spaces, including urban gardens and places for urban agriculture.
Outside the offices of the Historic East Baltimore Community Action Coalition at 1212 N. Wolfe St., EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake were joined by community partners in announcing this latest brownfields funding supporting Baltimore communities.
“It is rewarding to be here where what was once a former industrial property is now a flourishing urban garden, and to know that more sites will become green spaces benefitting Baltimore neighborhoods,” said EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. “EPA has a long-standing partnership with the City in efforts to clean up and redevelop properties. I commend Mayor Rawlings-Blake for continuing to demonstrate the value of local and federal partnerships in building environmentally and economically sustainable communities.”
Baltimore’s Sustainability Office has numerous partners involved in this brownfields assessment grant including the Historic East Baltimore Community Action Coalition, Civic Works, Inc. and Parks & People Foundation.
“The Growing Green Initiative is my administration’s strategy to transform city-owned vacant lots from liabilities into assets,” said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. “Making sure that such sites are safe and clean is vital, and we thank the EPA for their support of our efforts. We’ll be working closely with residents and our partners in order to make the best use of these funds and ultimately create great new green spaces for Baltimore City.”
Previously awarded brownfields assessments grants in Baltimore total $1.6 million. That funding, through a combined eight grants to the City of Baltimore and the nonprofit Baltimore Development Corporation, assessed 65 properties.
EPA brownfields cleanup grants to Baltimore include a $200,000 award to the City and another $200,000 grant to the Center for Aquatic Life and Conservation.
EPA brownfields job training grants have also benefitted Baltimore residents. Six EPA grants totaling $1.3 million were awarded to Civic Works, Inc. and supported multiple training programs that have graduated more than 400 unemployed, or under-employed people. Now, more than 300 of these graduates have environmental-related jobs.
Brownfields are properties where real or suspected environmental contamination has prevented productive reuse of those properties. Baltimore is one of 147 communities in 2015 selected to receive brownfields assessment grant funding through a national competitive process.
For information about environmental assessment grants: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/assessment_grants.htm
For a list of all brownfields grants by state: http://cfpub.epa.gov/bf_factsheets/
Contact Information: Roy Seneca seneca.roy (at) epa (dot) gov (215) 814-5567