Last week, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that Hennepin County will receive $500,000 to supplement the county’s Brownfield Revolving Loan Fund, or RLF. This grant will help remediate environmental contamination at abandoned industrial and commercial properties that have been targeted for redevelopment.
Brownfield RLF grants enable funding for communities to provide loans and sub-grants for cleanup activities at brownfield sites. When loans are repaid, funds become available to other borrowers providing a revolving source of capital for the community.
“EPA’s brownfields program provides critical funding that empowers communities to address the environmental, public health and social issues associated with contaminated land,” said Acting EPA Regional Administrator Cheryl Newton. “EPA commends community leaders for using these funds to take vital steps forward to improve the environment and the local economy. These grants underscore EPA’s commitment to lifting up and protecting all communities - especially overburdened and underserved communities.”
To date, EPA has awarded a total of $7.25 million to Hennepin County’s RLF since 1999. The county has used the funding to clean up and redevelop 10 properties which helped to create or retain 180 jobs and attract $30.2 million in private investment. The county expects to provide up to three new loans or subgrants with the funds announced today.
“We are honored to receive this award from the EPA,” said Commissioner Marion Greene, Hennepin County Board Chair. “The funding will allow us to continue giving low-interest loans for environmental cleanup projects, bridging funding gaps that present barriers to redevelopment. The EPA has confidence that we are supporting places in our county with health disparities, giving priority to low income areas and communities of color. Our goals are to create jobs, enhance green space, and keep the community in place to enjoy the improvements.”
EPA’s RLF grantees across the country have completed 794 cleanups and attracted approximately 48,000 jobs and $16.2 billion in public and private funding.