The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced yesterday that the CNMI’s Office of Planning and Development will receive $300,000 in revitalization funding through its Brownfields Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup Grants.
This is the first time the Office of Planning and Development is a Brownfields grant recipient and makes the CNMI one of 151 communities nationwide that will receive 154 of these grant awards totaling $66.5 million in all.
Brownfields funding are typically used in assessing and cleaning up contaminated and abandoned industrial and commercial properties. OPD will use the funds for site assessments, cleanup planning and public engagement. Funded activities will focus on the Lower West Takpochao Planning Area in Garapan.
Nationally, approximately 50% of selected recipients will be receiving EPA Brownfields Grant funding for the first time and more than 85% are located in or serving small communities.
“Through our Brownfields Program, EPA is delivering on the Biden administration’s commitment to lifting up and protecting overburdened communities across America, especially communities that have experienced long periods of disinvestment and decay,” said EPA administrator Michael S. Regan. “These assessment and cleanup grants will not only support economic growth and job creation, but they will also empower communities to address the environmental, public health, and social issues associated with contaminated land.”
“The great flexibility of the EPA Brownfields program helps communities address local concerns about underutilized properties while protecting public health,” said Deborah Jordan, EPA’s Acting Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest office. “These funds will spur investment to revitalize underserved communities throughout America’s Pacific Southwest region.”
Nationally, the grant announcement includes:
• $8.8 million for 11 Multipurpose Grants, which will provide funding to conduct a range of eligible assessment and cleanup activities at one or more brownfield sites in a target area.
• $42.2 million for 107 Assessment Grants, which will provide funding for brownfield inventories, planning, environmental assessments, and community outreach.
• $15.5 million for 36 Cleanup Grants, which will provide funding to carry out cleanup activities at brownfield sites owned by the recipient.
EPA anticipates that it will award the grants once all legal and administrative requirements are satisfied by the selected recipients. (PR)