The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is providing a $331,000 low-interest loan to the City of Rochester, New York to clean up abandoned and contaminated properties. The funding is being awarded under the EPA s brownfields program, which helps communities assess, clean up, and reuse properties at which moderate contamination threatens environmental quality and public health and can interfere with redevelopment.
Cleaning up brownfields allows abandoned and contaminated properties to be cleaned up and revitalized as new parks, new housing and businesses that create jobs, said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. This funding will protect the health of area residents, and will help revitalize neighborhoods.
Revolving loan funds supply funding for grant recipients to provide loans and sub-grants to carry out cleanup activities at brownfield sites. When these loans are repaid, the loan amounts are then returned into the fund and re-loaned to other borrowers. This provides an ongoing source of capital within a community as the funds are provided to other grantees.
Rochester will use this $331,000 low-interest loan for the cleanup of the Michelson Furniture Factory site in the northeast part of the city. The Urban League of Rochester Economic Development Corporation and Edgemere Development will transform two industrial buildings on the site into 59 apartments for low-income residents. The EPA loan will be used for a cleanup investigation, the removal and disposal of approximately 100 tons of hazardous soil, the treatment of contaminants at the site, five years of groundwater monitoring, and the completion of a site management plan.
There are an estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated sites in the United States. The EPA s Brownfields Program targets these sites to encourage redevelopment, and help to provide the opportunity for productive community use of contaminated properties. The EPA s brownfields investments overall have leveraged more than $20 billion in cleanup and redevelopment funding from public and private sources and on average, $17.79 is leveraged for every EPA Brownfields grant dollar spent. The funds have enabled the support of 90,000 jobs in cleanup, construction and redevelopment.