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EPA Announces $1.5 Million for Brownfield Sites in Dallas, Texas

Jun 16, 2023

DALLAS, TEXAS – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced $1.5 million in funding from President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda to the city of Dallas to expedite the assessment and cleanup of brownfield sites while advancing environmental justice. EPA selected the City of Dallas for a Brownfields Assessment Grant and a Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) Grant. Both grants fund cleanup plans, environmental assessments, and community outreach activities such as public meetings. The funds will be managed through the city’s Office of Environmental Quality and Sustainability.

“Through a 24% increase in funding for the Brownfields program, the Biden Administration has shown the importance of safeguarding and uplifting disadvantaged communities, who have struggled for decades with pollution,” said Regional Administrator Dr. Earthea Nance. “EPA is pleased to partner with the City of Dallas to restore economic vitality and improve public health in communities facing environmental challenges.”

“My sons are fifth generation Texans and I want them, and the next generation of Texans, to inherit a sustainable and healthy Dallas,” said Congressman Allred. “I’m proud that our city will receive this support to make our communities healthier and more sustainable.”

“The communities I represent in Dallas and North Texas have suffered from historic segregation, redlining, and underinvestment. It’s a vicious cycle: a community is underserved and underfunded, roads and infrastructure fall into disrepair, pollution worsens while wealthier neighborhoods are spared, and as a result, businesses don’t want to invest and contribute their tax revenue. And the cycle continues,” said Congresswoman Crockett. “These Brownfield grants are a recognition of the harm that has been done to my constituents, and will provide the funding to continue the work of depolluting and making our homes and public spaces safe to live, work, and play in. Environmental Justice is a long process, but you have to start somewhere – and I’m grateful to the Biden Administration and the EPA for getting us started.”

"In 2021, I proudly voted for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that made historic investments to fight against pollution and clean our air and water," said Rep. Veasey. "The funding, made possible by the law’s passage, will help create a better future for North Texas by expediting the assessment and cleanup of sites with a presence or potential presence of hazardous substances and pollutants. This is great news for communities that have long suffered from the effects of pollution in the air, land, and water, in certain neighborhoods.

“I am proud of our city’s diligent pursuit of a cleaner and more sustainable Dallas,” Mayor Eric L. Johnson said. “This award from the EPA strengthens our city’s resolve to foster safer, cleaner, and more resilient neighborhoods.” 

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“Conserving and preserving our environment for future generations is a top priority for the City,” City Manager T.C. Broadnax said. These funds will help the City continue its work in making our communities healthier and more sustainable, particularly our communities that are most impacted by environmental hazards.”   

The city’s Brownfields Assessment Grant of $500,000 will be used to conduct environmental assessments in the South Dallas and the Fair Park area. Site assessments use existing information to examine the current and historical use of the property to determine potential threats to public health and to gauge the property for pollution by sampling the soil and groundwater. The funds will also be used to prepare four cleanup plans and to engage in outreach such as community and stakeholder meetings.  

The city’s Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund Grant of $1,000,000 will be distributed to priority sites in South Dallas. These include the Park South YMCA, the Jeffries-Meyers site in the Fair Park area, the historic Forest Theater and an underutilized retail plaza on Holmes Street within the Forest District area, and the Melissa Pierce School property in the Joppee neighborhood. This grant will also support public engagement by funding 20 public meetings over the course of five years and educating the community on the RLF program.

These investments are part of President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda to grow the American economy from the bottom up and middle-out – from rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure, to driving over $470 billion in private sector manufacturing and clean energy investments in the United States, to creating a manufacturing and innovation boom powered by good paying jobs that don’t require a four-year degree, to building a clean-energy economy that will combat climate change and make our communities more resilient.

Thanks to the historic $1.5 billion boost from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, EPA’s Brownfields Program is helping more communities than ever before begin to address the economic, social, and environmental challenges caused by brownfields and stimulate economic opportunity, and environmental revitalization in historically overburdened communities.

The EPA’s Brownfields Program also advances President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative to direct 40 percent of the overall benefits of certain Federal investments to disadvantaged communities. The Brownfields Program strives to meet this commitment and advance environmental justice and equity considerations into all aspects of its work. Approximately 84 percent of the MARC program applications selected to receive funding proposed to work in areas that include historically underserved communities.

Additional Background

The EPA has selected these organizations to receive funding to address and support the reuse of brownfield sites. EPA anticipates making all the awards announced today once all legal and administrative requirements are satisfied.

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The EPA’s Brownfields Program began in 1995 and has provided nearly $2.37 billion in Brownfield Grants to assess and clean up contaminated properties and return blighted properties to productive reuse. EPA’s investments in addressing brownfield sites have leveraged more than $36 billion in cleanup and redevelopment. Over the years, the relatively small investment of federal funding has leveraged, from both public and private sources, nearly 260,000 jobs. Communities that previously received Brownfields Grants used these resources to fund assessments and cleanups of brownfields, and successfully leverage an average of 10.6 jobs per $100,000 of EPA Brownfield Grant funds spent and $19.78 for every dollar.

The next National Brownfields Training Conference will be held on August 8-11, 2023 in Detroit, Michigan. Offered every two years, this conference is the largest gathering of stakeholders focused on cleaning up and reusing former commercial and industrial properties. EPA co-sponsors this event with the International City/County Management Association (ICMA). For more on Brownfields Grants, please see here and for more on the Brownfields Program please visit our webpage.

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