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Dingell Announces $400,000 in EPA Brownfield Funding for Downriver Community Conference

DCC will use funds to revitalize community and turn vacant and abandoned properties into community assets

Washington, June 21, 2019

SOUTHGATE, MI – Today, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell announced that the Downriver Community Conference (DCC) is receiving $400,000 in supplemental funding from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help clean up and redevelop Brownfield sites. The DCC is a proven leader in Brownfield remediation and has received more than $12.6 million in Brownfield funding since 2008. This supplemental award comes Dingell fought to reverse the EPA’s decision to deny a grant to DCC.

“Downrivers have many valuable natural resources that make it a safe place to live, raise families, and enjoy the outdoors,” said Dingell. “The need to clean up left-behind, contaminated Brownfield sites continues to be the goal for Downriver leaders to improve livability. The DCC has an excellent track record of using Brownfield dollars in such a manner and the supplemental funding from EPA enables this good work to continue. The DCC has a strong plan to use these funds. We thank the EPA for recognizing the valuable leadership in Brownfield redevelopment with this supplemental award.”

“We have a long history of taking blight sites and turning them into bright sites, and the DCC has worked together on behalf of the communities, and have been very successful, and are proud to receive these funds, ” said Jim Perry, Executive Director, Downriver Community Conference.

This supplemental award from EPA comes after the DCC’s grant proposal was initially denied funding through the EPA Brownfield program.  Nationally, there were 305 assessment proposals, and only 104 of them got funded.  Congresswoman Dingell urged the EPA to reconsider and find additional funding for the critical work the DCC is doing to improve Downriver communities, which helped lead to this supplemental award.   Dingell is also fighting to increase federal funding for Brownfield remediation overall so more communities in need can have access to these critical funds.

Below is further background on the EPA Brownfield Program.

A Brownfield is a property for which the expansion, redevelopment or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant. There are estimated to be more than 450,000 Brownfields in the United States.

Grants awarded by EPA’s Brownfield Program provide communities across the country with an opportunity to transform contaminated sites into community assets that attract jobs and achieve broader economic development outcomes while taking advantage of existing infrastructure. For example, Brownfields grants have been shown to:

  • Increase Local Tax Revenue: A study of 48 Brownfields sites found that an estimated $29 million to $97 million in additional local tax revenue was generated in a single year after cleanup. This is two to seven times more than the $12.4 million EPA contributed to the cleanup of these sites.
  • Increase Residential Property Values: Another study found that property values of homes near revitalized brownfields sites increased between 5% and 15% following cleanup.

As of May 2019, under the EPA Brownfields Program, 30,153 properties have been assessed and 86,131 acres of idle land have been made ready for productive use. In addition, communities have been able to use Brownfields grants to attract 150,120 jobs and more than $28 billion of public and private funding.

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