The City of Atlanta and Invest Atlanta were among dour grant recipients in Georgia to receive awards from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to assess and clean up contaminated properties under the agency’s Brownfields program. The City of Atlanta was awarded $300,000 and Invest Atlanta was awarded $500,000.

The Georgia grantees are among 155 grants that will be awarded for communities and tribes totaling over $65.6 million in EPA brownfields funding through the agency’s Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup Grant Programs.

“These grants will provide the selected communities in Georgia with resources to clean up contaminated lands and return them to productive use,” said Mary S. Walker, Region 4 administrator for the EPA. “Overall, Brownfields funding provides communities with an opportunity to convert contaminated sites into community assets that will attract jobs, encourage partnerships, and achieve broader economic development outcomes.”

The awarded funds will aid under-served and economically disadvantaged communities, including neighborhoods located in opportunity zones, in assessing and cleaning up abandoned industrial and commercial properties. An opportunity zone is an economically-distressed community where new investment, under certain conditions, may be eligible for preferential tax treatment.

Of the communities selected this year, 118 can potentially assess or clean up brownfield sites in census tracts designated in these zones. In addition, nearly 30 percent of the communities selected today will receive brownfields funding for the first time.

“Cleaning up these contaminated sites will open the door for economic development in Atlanta and Albany while improving public health and the environment,” said Senator David Perdue. “This investment will have a tangible impact in Georgia, and I appreciate the Administration’s commitment to helping our communities succeed.”

Richard Dunn, Director of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division, said “EPA’s grant funding has helped make it possible for communities across Georgia to clean up contaminated properties and benefit from the resulting economic growth. Since the Georgia Brownfields Program began 17 years ago, 598 properties have been cleaned up at minimal expense to taxpayers and we are excited to add these new projects in Atlanta and Albany to that list.”

Centennial Olympic Park is one of several sites that has been recognized by the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge for its reduction in water usage. (Courtesy / Explore Georgia)

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