The Biden-Harris Administration Announces $500,000 in Brownfield Grants Through Investments in America’s Agenda to Rehabilitate and Revitalize Nebraska Communities

LENEXA, CAN. (MAY 20, 2024) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced $500,000 in grants from President Biden’s Investing in the American agenda to expedite the assessment and remediation of brownfield sites in Nebraska while promoting environmental justice.

These investments through EPA’s Brownfields Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup (MAC) Grant Programs and Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) Grant Programs will help convert once contaminated, vacant, and abandoned properties into community assets while helping to create good jobs and stimulate economic development. revitalizing overburdened communities.

EPA selected Schuyler Community Development in Nebraska to receive $500,000 in competitive EPA Brownfields funding through MAC Grant programs.

EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan will announce the awards today in Philadelphia, along with Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker and U.S. Representative Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05) at a local brownfield site near Bartram’s Mile.

For more than 60 years, the site was used as an oil terminal, filled with storage tanks full of petroleum and other semi-volatile organic compounds. The City of Philadelphia has been working to reclaim brownfield sites along Bartram’s Mile, making them a community hub where residents can access walking and biking trails, as well as areas for fishing, gardening, farming and more.

“Far too many communities across America have suffered the harmful economic and health consequences of living near contaminated brownfields,” said President Joe Biden. “I have long believed that people who have borne the burden of pollution should be the first to see the benefits of new investments. Under my administration, we are making that a reality by ensuring that the historic resources from my Investing in America Agenda reach the communities that need them most. I’m proud that my administration is helping Philadelphia clean up this area and transform it into an economic engine, while addressing a long-standing environmental injustice and creating good-paying jobs.”

“President Biden sees contaminated sites and blighted areas as an opportunity to invest in healthier, revitalized communities,” he said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “That’s why he secured historic funding under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, boosting EPA’s Brownfields Program to clean up contaminated properties in overburdened communities and return them to productive use.”

“EPA Region 7 is proud to deliver these Brownfields funding resources to our partner organizations in Nebraska,” said EPA Region 7 Administrator Meghan A. McCollister. “The Brownfields Program is truly a win-win for everyone involved, and we are proud of our partners’ efforts to provide a cleaner, healthier environment for all, while boosting local economic development.”

“With the help of the City of Schuyler and stakeholders including the Schuyler Area Chamber of Commerce, Center for Rural Affairs, CHI Health-Schuyler and local businesses in historic downtown Schuyler, SCD greatly appreciates the opportunity to leverage EPA Brownfields funding to help assess and revitalize our historic downtown and other areas of the city that have historically been under-resourced,” the spokesperson said Brian Bywater, Schuyler community development specialist. “Revitalization and redevelopment of the Downtown Historic District and the broader community through a strategic Brownfield Program will bring investment, jobs, beautification and, most importantly, greater opportunity for the residents of Schuyler.”

“Congratulations to Schuyler for winning a Brownfields Assessment Grant to improve historic downtown!” said KC Belitz, director of the Nebraska Department of Economic Development. “Nebraskas care deeply about our communities, and Schuyler’s revitalization efforts are a great example of this civic pride. Thank you to the EPA for investing in the health and well-being of our state!”

Many communities under economic strain, especially those in areas that have experienced long periods of disinvestment, lack the resources necessary to initiate brownfield cleanup and redevelopment projects. As brownfield sites are transformed into community assets, they attract jobs, promote economic revitalization, and transform communities into sustainable and environmentally just places.

With the historic $1.5 billion boost from President Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure bill, EPA’s Brownfields Program is helping more communities than ever before address the economic, social and environmental challenges caused by brownfields and create economic opportunity and encourage environmental revitalization in historically overburdened communities.

The EPA’s Brownfields Program furthers President Biden’s Justice40 initiative, which set a goal of 40% of the total benefits of certain federal investments flowing to underserved communities marginalized by underinvestment and overburdened by pollution. The Brownfields Program strives to deliver on this promise and promote environmental justice and equity considerations in all aspects of its work. Approximately 86% of MAC and RLF Supplemental Program applications selected to receive funding are proposed to work in areas with disadvantaged communities.

Distribution of state funding:

Selections from Brownfields Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup (MAC) grant programs

The following Nebraska organizations have been selected to receive EPA Brownfields funding through the MAC Grant programs:

  • Schuyler Community Development has been selected to receive $500,000. Grant funds from across the Community will be used to conduct eighteen Phase I and eight Phase II environmental assessments of sites. Grant funds will also be used to identify and prioritize additional locations; develop four cleaning plans; conduct three visioning sessions; prepare three site reuse assessments and one revitalization plan; and conduct community engagement activities. The target area for this grant is the Schuyler Downtown Historic District. Priority sites include a former hotel, a former municipal power plant and a former grain elevator.

Visit EPA’s to see the list of FY 2024 Multipurpose, Assessment and Cleanup applicants selected for funding FY 2024 Multi-Purpose, Assessment, and Cleanup Applicant Webpage.