EPA Announces Modifications to Brownfields Grant Program
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") recently announced that it has substantially modified its Brownfields Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup ("ARC") grant proposal guidelines with the stated goals of creating additional funding opportunities and streamlining proposal guidelines and requirements to help bolster grantee success. New features of the program include the creation of $1 million Coalition Assessment Grants whereby a group of three or more eligible entities may submit a single grant proposal to address hazardous substance and/or petroleum contamination at five or more sites. In addition, examples of EPA’s streamlined guidelines include establishment of new concise criteria sections aimed at reducing redundancy to focus on project implementation, and eradication of complex legal language throughout various sections of the grant proposals.
EPA awarded more than $74 million in Brownfields Grant funding in 2008. Since its inception, EPA has awarded nearly $300 million in Brownfields Assessment Grants, $217 million through its Revolving Loan Fund, and $78 million in Cleanup Grants. EPA has announced that it intends to issue a request for proposals in late summer of 2008 for 2009 Brownfields Grants and recently released its FY2009 Brownfields Grant guidelines. Due to the competitive nature of the grant process and the aforementioned revisions to the program, parties seeking to obtain EPA Brownfields grants should carefully review these draft guidelines so that proposals may be submitted as soon as the request for proposals is issued.