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Oahu Will Receive a Brownfields Assessment Grant Under Nationwide Effort to Build A Better America

HONOLULU – Today, as part of a nationwide effort to clean up contaminated and blighted properties and redevelop them for productive reuse, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing a $500,000 investment in Honolulu made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The funding in Hawaii will be provided through an EPA Brownfields Assessment grant. The grants being unveiled across the nation are supported by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which provides a total of $1.5 billion to advance environmental justice, spur economic revitalization, and create jobs by cleaning up so called “brownfield” properties — contaminated, polluted, or hazardous sites slated for revitalization through a specialized EPA program. 

“Today’s announcement breathes new life into Honolulu communities by turning contaminated properties into economically productive community resources,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Martha Guzman. “Thanks to the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, EPA is increasing our investments in Hawaiian communities, providing assistance to areas long overburdened and underserved.”

EPA’s Brownfields Program also delivers on the Biden Administration’s Justice40 Initiative, which directs at least 40 percent of the overall benefits from federal investments in climate and clean energy to disadvantaged communities. EPA is committed to meeting and exceeding this goal. Approximately 86 percent of the communities selected to receive funding as part of today’s national announcement will support historically underserved areas.

EPA’s funding supports Hawaiian communities’ efforts to address the economic, social, and environmental challenges caused by brownfields by stimulating economic opportunity and environmental revitalization.

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation is selected to receive a $500,000 Brownfields Assessment Grant to conduct environmental site assessments along the Honolulu Rail Transit Project corridor. The project will focus on four Transit Project sections: West O’ahu Farrington Highway, Kamehameha Highway, Airport, and City Center. The project will support the development of the Honolulu Rail Transit Project and will focus on potentially contaminated properties in the project corridor, including former sugar mills, food processing and canning facilities, and fertilizer processing and storage facilities.

A full list of the applicants selected for funding is available here: Brownfields Applicants Selected.

Since its inception in 1995, EPA’s investments in brownfield sites have leveraged more than $35 billion in cleanup and redevelopment. This has led to significant benefits for communities across the country. For example:

  • To date, this funding has led to more than 183,000 jobs in cleanup, construction, and redevelopment.
  • Based on grant recipient reporting, recipients leveraged an average $20.43 for each EPA Brownfields dollar and 10.3 jobs per $100,000 of EPA Brownfield Grant funds expended on assessment, cleanup, and revolving loan fund cooperative agreements.
  • In addition, an academic peer-reviewed study has found that residential properties near brownfield sites increased in value by 5% to 15% because of cleanup activities.
  • Finally, analyzing data near 48 brownfields, EPA found an estimated $29 million to $97 million in additional tax revenue for local governments in a single year after cleanup—2 to 7 times more than the $12.4 million EPA contributed to the cleanup of those brownfield sites.

For more on Brownfields Grants: Types-brownfields-grant-funding.

For more on EPA’s Brownfields Program: Brownfields Program.

Learn more about EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region. Connect with us on Facebook and on Twitter.

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