Alexandria, La. (May 8, 2020) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced the City of Alexandria has been awarded $300,000 from the EPA’s Brownfields Program to conduct assessments. The funding is provided for cleanup and assessment of abandoned or contaminated properties, which are known as brownfields.
“We are extremely grateful to the EPA and the Brownfields Assessment Grant Program for this award,” said Alexandria Mayor Jeffrey W. Hall. “My administration has been working hard to revitalize Alexandria, including the downtown area, which includes an Opportunity Zone. We have assembled many of the key ingredients necessary to build a vibrant, sustainable community, with a growing medical, educational and arts-entertainment presence to serve as the cornerstones. A key to continuing our positive momentum is to resolve remaining brownfield sites that pose potential hazards to human health to create opportunities for new investment and economic growth, especially in our most economically-challenged neighborhoods. The funds from this grant will allow us to move forward with our remediation and rejuvenation efforts as we work to revitalize Alexandria and better meet the needs of the area residents.”
The award was announced by Ronnie Crossland, EPA Region 6 Land, Chemical, and Redevelopment Director and Dr. Chuck Carr Brown, Secretary, LDEQ. Crossland explained the Brownfields Program started in 1995 and to date more than $1.6 billion has been awarded in grants for cleanup operations across the country. In many cases, the projects are in what Crossland described as “economically underserved communities.”
“What we have found is a $17 return in private investment for every $1 awarded,” Crossland said. “That comes from increased property values and tax revenues.”
In the grant application, the City of Alexandria identified nine specific properties as brownfield or potential brownfield sites within the city including drycleaners, filling stations, a steel salvage yard, and various former industrial and commercial developments. The city intends to identify and prioritize additional properties during a full brownfield site inventory process involving project partners and target area residents while determining how the sites will fit into the City’s Brownfields Revitalization Plan that will be developed as part of this grant.