City of Jacksonville Awarded $400,000 for Brownfields Cleanup

June 04, 2015  

Funding Will Help Spur Redevelopment and Revitalization in Jacksonville Neighborhoods

The City of Jacksonville will receive $400,000 in grant funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to assess contaminated Brownfields properties.

The EPA selected Jacksonville for two Brownfields assessment grants. A $200,000 community-wide hazardous substances grant will be used to conduct between eight and 10 environmental site assessments.  Community-wide petroleum grant funding totaling $200,000 will be used to conduct six to eight environmental site assessments. The funding will also be used to develop an inventory of Brownfields sites throughout the city, conduct community outreach activities and prepare cleanup and area-wide plans.

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

“These grants will help reclaim these important properties, transforming them back into valuable places that will contribute to a better quality of life for Jacksonville neighborhoods,” said Mayor Alvin Brown. “I’d like to thank the City’s Brownfields Program Coordinator Heather Ireland for her hard work, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and all of our partners who helped secure these important funds for our community.”

In all, 147 communities were selected for 2015 Brownfields Assessment Grant funding, totaling $54.3 million.  Jacksonville is one of only nine Florida communities chosen, including Palatka and Live Oak. This highly competitive grant received 144 proposals from Region 4 alone, which includes Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky. 

“Redeveloping our Brownfields will help our community, especially in neighborhoods that can really benefit from new jobs and redevelopment. The City and the EPA are providing support that can lead to us clean up properties and ultimately provide a benefit to the community,” said Council Member Reggie Brown, who has focused on re-activating Brownfields. “I want to thank the City staff and the EPA for their effort and support for this critical work.”

According to the EPA, more than 30 percent of the communities chosen have been affected by plant closures, 40 percent by significant economic disruptions and 42 percent by adverse natural disasters. Communities selected this year demonstrate a high level of preparedness to undertake specific projects, as they have firm commitments of leveraged funds to move projects forward. This effort will involve the collaboration of public, private, and not-for-profit partners. 

“These communities have demonstrated a plan to leverage their grants and partnerships to achieve economic and environmental revitalization to meet their needs for jobs,” said Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. “These critical EPA resources are going into communities with populations ranging from 89 to 1.4 million, and more than half under 100,000. The grants will help transform brownfield sites, such as former manufacturing and mill sites, into productive end uses which directly benefit community residents and create opportunities including increased housing options, recreational spaces, and jobs.”