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Texarkana, Texas, Receives Two EPA Brownfields Grants Totaling $1.3 Million

Texas Business reports:  TEXARKANA, Texas—The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced grant awards from the brownfields redevelopment program bringing the total to $1.3 million.

A brownfield site is real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant. 

“These brownfields grants will help convert environmental eyesores into sources of local pride,” said EPA acting regional administrator Sam Coleman in a prepared statement.  “EPA is committed to putting both people and property back to work and turning problem properties into community assets.”

 In May 2012, the EPA announced the city of Texarkana was selected to receive a $900,000 brownfields revolving loan fund grant which focused on 200 properties in the Historical Downtown and 7th Street Corridor.  

 An additional multi-purpose grant totaling $400,000 will be used to assess and clean up a site located at 203/205 West Broad Street.  Past uses of the site included various shops and storage space.  The site is contaminated with both inorganic and organic materials, as well as heavy metals.  The funds will also be used to conduct a Phase II environmental assessment and develop a cleanup plan and remove contaminated materials from the buildings and cleanup soil.  The project is expected to preserve the façade and all salvageable interior features of a historic 1885 site for commercial development.

“Texarkana is laser-focused on improving the livability and economic vitality of our city for everyone,” said Texarkana mayor Bob Bruggeman in a prepared statement. “Our redevelopment strategy is to concentrate on brownfields properties that pose serious threats to human health and have the highest redevelopment potential. This funding will allow us to get these buildings back on the tax rolls, improve the bottom line, and restore our cultural assets.”

The EPA’s Brownfields Program enables states, communities, and other stakeholders to work together to prevent, assess, clean up and sustainably reuse brownfields.  In 2002, the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act was passed to help states and communities around the country clean up and revitalize brownfields sites.  Under this law, the EPA provides financial assistance to eligible applicants through four competitive grant programs: Assessment grants, Revolving Loan Fund grants, Cleanup grants, and Job Training grants.  Additionally, funding support is provided to state and tribal response programs through a separate mechanism.