The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has selected 149 communities to receive 151 grant awards totaling $64,623,553 million in EPA Brownfields funding through the Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup Grant Programs. SMPDD received a $300,000 Community-wide Brownfields Assessment Grant for target areas of downtown Waynesboro, the Hattiesburg Mobile Street/Twin Forks Rising Community, and the D’Iberville Southern Waterfront Region. Community-wide hazardous substances and petroleum grant funds will be used to conduct Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessments, develop cleanup plans and a reuse plan, and conduct community outreach activities.
Nationwide, brownfields funding will assist those under-served and economically disadvantaged communities in Opportunity Zones and other parts of the country in assessing and cleaning up their abandoned industrial and commercial sites. The goal is to take those contaminated sites and transform them from neglected properties into community assets that create jobs while also improving public health and the environment.
Brownfields grants have been shown to increase local tax revenue and residential property values; facilitate job growth; and utilize existing infrastructure, this leading to a boost in a region’s economic development. This program brings true revitalization and transformation to the distressed communities of America.