South GA cities share $1.2 Million to develop blighted propertie - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

South GA cities share $1.2 Million to develop blighted properties

(Source: EPA) (Source: EPA)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Albany and Waycross are among the cities sharing $54.3 million to assess, clean up, and redevelop underutilized properties while protecting public health and the environment, under the Brownfield Program.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said approximately $8.9 million went to 36 communities in the southeast.

The program transforms "vacant and abandoned properties into new, productive reuses, using existing infrastructure" said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. "These grants leverage other public and private investments, and improve local economies through property cleanup and redevelopment.”

Albany gets $300,000- ($200,000 for hazardous substances and $100,000 for petroleum) Hazardous substances and petroleum grant funds will be used to conduct environmental site assessments and develop reuse and community involvement plans.

Perry also gets $300,000- ($150,000 for hazardous substances and $150,000 for petroleum) Hazardous substances and petroleum grant funds will be used to conduct environmental site assessments, and prepare cleanup plans.

Savannah will receive $300,000 ($150,000 for hazardous substances and $150,000 for petroleum) Hazardous substances and petroleum grant funds will be used to conduct environmental site assessments and prepare cleanup plans.

Waycross also gets $300,000 ($150,000 for hazardous substances and $150,000 for petroleum) Hazardous substances and petroleum grant funds will be used to conduct environmental site assessments and prepare cleanup plans. Funds also will be used to prepare a comprehensive inventory of all brownfield properties in the target area that is compatible with the Ware County GIS database.

The Brownfield Program targets communities that are economically disadvantaged and provides funding and assistance to transform blighted sites into assets that can generate jobs and spur economic growth. A study analyzing 48 Brownfield sites found that an estimated $29 million 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 the cleanup of these brownfield sites. Furthermore, another study found that property values of homes located near Brownfield sites that are cleaned up increased between 5 and 15 percent after cleanup.

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