EPA Announces $900,000 to the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation to Assess and Clean Up Contaminated Sites on Oahu

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) will receive a total of $900,000 in federal grant funds for brownfield site revitalization efforts. These grants are part of the $56.8 million awarded nationally to 172 recipients to assess and clean up historically contaminated properties, also known as brownfields, to help local governments redevelop vacant and unused properties, transforming communities and local economies.

“EPA is committed to working with communities to redevelop Brownfields sites which have plagued their neighborhoods. EPA’s Assessment and Cleanup grants target communities that are economically disadvantaged and include places where environmental cleanup and new jobs are most needed,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “These grants leverage considerable infrastructure and other investments, improving local economies and creating an environment where jobs can grow. I am very pleased the President’s budget recognizes the importance of these grants by providing continued funding for this important program.”

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) will receive two EPA Brownfield grants to assess and clean up contaminated properties in Oahu.  Both grants support development of the future Honolulu High-Capacity Transit Corridor Project. EPA’s $300,000 Brownfield Assessment grant will focus on properties along the City Center section of the transit corridor. This grant-funded effort aligns with previous EPA funding awards that support transit-oriented redevelopment efforts along the transit line. HART will use the second $600,000 EPA grant to remove soil contaminated with arsenic and metals from three properties, which will be redeveloped into a rail station known as the Iwilei Station.

Revitalization of the brownfield properties along the Honolulu High-Capacity Transit Corridor Project will support sustainable, compact and mixed-use development that encourages higher densities and energy conservation, as well as promoting the use of transit, walking and cycling.

Overview of the funds being announced today:

  • $25 million to communities who are receiving assessment and cleanup funding for the first time
  • $17.5 million of the assessment and cleanup funding will benefit small and rural communities with populations less than 10,000
  • Recipients will each receive approximately $200,000 – $600,000 in funding to work on individual sites or several sites within their community
  • These funds will provide communities with resources necessary to determine the extent of site contamination, remove environmental uncertainties and clean up contaminated properties where needed.

Studies have shown that residential property values near brownfields sites that are cleaned up increased between 5 and 15.2% within a 1.24-mile radius of that site. A study analyzing data near 48 brownfield sites shows that an estimated $29 to $97 million in additional tax revenue was generated for local governments in a single year after cleanup. This is two to seven times more than the $12.4 million EPA contributed to those brownfields.

As of May 2017, more than 124,759 jobs and $24 billion of public and private funding has been leveraged as a result of assessment grants and other EPA Brownfields grants. On average, $16.11 was leveraged for each EPA Brownfields dollar and 8.5 jobs leveraged per $100,000 of EPA Brownfields funds expended on assessment, cleanup, and revolving loan fund cooperative agreements.

View the list of the FY 2017 applicants selected for funding here: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/brownfields-list-fy17-grants-selected-funding

More on EPA’s Brownfields program:  https://epa.gov/brownfields

More on successful Brownfields stories: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/brownfields-success-stories

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