Today, EPA Region 7 Administrator Meg McCollister presented a $500,000 ceremonial check to the Community Development Administration (CDA) of St. Louis, Missouri, as a Brownfields Assessment Grant selectee.
McCollister was joined by St. Louis Mayor Tishaura O. Jones and CDA Executive Director Nahuel Fefer.
The city plans to utilize the Brownfields Assessment Grant funding for community-wide actions, which include conducting 32 Phase I and 12 Phase II environmental site assessments, developing seven cleanup plans, and providing staff training.
The grant focuses on the neighborhoods of Fountain Park, Greater Ville, The Ville, Jeff Vanderlou, St. Louis Place, College Hill, Fairground Neighborhood, Wells Goodfellow, Walnut Park East, Hamilton Heights, and Chouteau’s Landing.
These 11 neighborhoods, out of a total 79 in St. Louis, represent only 10% of the total geographic area of the city, but account for approximately 53% of the total vacancy. Environmental site assessments will focus on vacant buildings – including abandoned corner gas stations – which depress home values and lead to further vacancy.
“EPA Region 7 has worked with many organizations in the St. Louis area through our Brownfields Program and we are proud to continue these efforts through a new partnership with the City of St. Louis,” McCollister said. “Together, EPA and St. Louis are creating a cleaner and more robust economy for one of our largest cities here in America’s heartland.”
“Cleaning up contaminated properties helps protect families while creating new opportunities for our neighborhoods,” Jones said. “St. Louis appreciates President Biden and the EPA for delivering these resources to our city.”
“Investments in our communities only make us stronger,” said U.S. Representative Cori Bush (MO-1). “That is why I am thrilled that the City of St. Louis is receiving $500,000 from the EPA for community and environmental cleanup efforts in the city. This funding will focus on assessing environmental cleanup needs in St. Louis and revitalizing Chouteau’s Landing and other neighborhoods in the northern part of the city. This funding is a step toward environmental justice and bolstering the well-being of our communities.”
“This EPA Brownfield Assessment Grant signifies the City of St. Louis - Community Development Administration's commitment to fostering a vibrant and sustainable St. Louis," Fefer said. "Cleaning up these sites not only revitalizes the city's physical landscape, but also creates opportunities for attracting businesses and strengthening neighborhoods to ensure the health and well-being of our neighbors.”
EPA has selected these organizations to receive funding to address and support the reuse of brownfield sites. EPA anticipates making all the recently announced awards, once all legal and administrative requirements are satisfied.
EPA’s Brownfields Program began in 1995 and has provided nearly $2.37 billion in grants to assess and clean up contaminated properties and return dilapidated properties to productive reuse. EPA’s investments in addressing brownfield sites have leveraged over $36 billion in cleanup and redevelopment. Over the years, the relatively small investment of federal funding has leveraged nearly 260,000 jobs from both public and private sources.
Communities that previously received Brownfields Grants used these resources to fund assessments and cleanups of brownfields, and successfully leveraged an average of 10.6 jobs per $100,000 of EPA Brownfields Grant funds spent and $19.78 for every dollar.