"I am pleased that the Senate has passed legislation to clean up the nation's brownfields. This legislation will allow communities to reduce environmental and health risks, capitalize on existing infrastructure and create jobs. I commend the Senate for their bipartisan approach to this important environmental reform."
- President George W. Bush, April 25, 2001
Brownfields are abandoned, idle, or underused industrial and commercial properties where redevelopment is hindered by real or perceived environmental contamination. They are most often found in economically distressed areas, such as inner cities. In January 1995, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched the Brownfields Economic Redevelopment Initiative to encourage communities and other stakeholders to return real or perceived hazardous waste sites to a usable condition. The goal of the Initiative is to create a safer and cleaner environment, new jobs, increased property tax values, protection of thousands of acres of "greenfields," and a better community through redevelopment of used land. This is accomplished by: (1) giving seed money to local governments: (2) removing liability barriers that prevent redevelopment of brownfields; (3) developing partnerships with all stakeholders; (4) promoting the local workforce, and (5) job training in brownfield site cleanup.
Through this Initiative, a state, county, city, or tribe may apply for a Brownfields Assessment Pilot grant. These grants are designed to support creative solutions to brownfields problems.
Public Health's role in brownfields redevelopment is to develop and implement strategies to ensure that public health issues are considered in the earliest phases of brownfields redevelopment. The CHP has been involved in several brownfields redevelopment projects in Georgia, and will assist with any brownfields issue upon request. If you think there is a brownfield in your area that may benefit from this program, please contact the CHP for assistance with submitting a Brownfields Assessment Pilot grant application.
For more information about brownfields, visit EPA's Brownfield website.