On December 8, 2004, President Bush signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005, which temporarily expands the number of brownfield sites that are eligible for funding under the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) brownfields assessment, revolving loan fund, and cleanup grants awarded under section 104(k) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA), as amended.
EPA's Fiscal Year 2005 appropriations may be used by recipients of brownfields grants and loans for eligible and allowable costs at brownfield sites as long as the recipient of a brownfield grant or loan satisfies all of the elements required to qualify as a bona fide prospective purchaser under CERCLA section 101(40) notwithstanding the fact that the property was acquired prior to the enactment of the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act of 2001, P.L. 107-118, on January 11, 2002.
EPA is reopening the FY2005 brownfields grant competition to allow entities who are affected by the above-referenced changes to submit and/or resubmit proposals for brownfields funding. To qualify for participation in the reopened competition, applicants must have specific brownfields sites identified, and these sites must now be eligible for EPA funding in FY2005 due to the above-referenced provision of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005. Applications for funding at other sites are not eligible to apply during the reopened competition.
Applicants who submitted proposals by the November 12, 2004, deadline for brownfields assessment, revolving loan fund, and cleanup grants and who otherwise satisfied all of the requirements to be eligible to receive brownfields grants or loans, as well as satisfied all of the elements required to qualify as a bona fide prospective purchaser, and were determined by EPA to be prohibited from using brownfield funds at the proposed site(s) because the applicant acquired the brownfield site prior to the January 11, 2002, enactment date, may choose to resubmit their proposal for consideration.
An original proposal and/or a request for reconsideration of a proposal that was submitted by the November 12, 2004, deadline must be received by 6:00 p.m. EST on or before January 14, 2005, by Environmental Management Support, Inc., Attention: Don West, 8601 Georgia Avenue, Suite 500, Silver Spring, MD 20910, phone 301-589-5318. Applicants must also provide a copy to the EPA Regional Brownfields Coordinator at the addresses shown in Appendix 1 of the September 2004 Proposal Guidelines.
Applicants should refer to the Proposal Guidelines for Brownfields Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup Grants and http://www.epa.gov. In addition, on page 5, the first bullet under Additional Uses/Restrictions of Grant Funds was revised to implement the language in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005. For more information, please contact your Regional Brownfields Coordinator.
"Brownfields" is a term coined to describe parcels of land where known or suspected contamination presents a barrier to reuse and redevelopment. Recent federal legislation is removing many barriers to redevelopment due to the threat of environmental liability. In 1997, the Florida Legislature passed a brownfields incentive program to encourage the redevelopment of contaminated properties.
This program does not provide significant state funding for local brownfield sites except on a demonstration project basis. However, incentives include tax breaks and regulatory relief for qualified sites. Alachua Countys involvement with brownfield sites involves the efforts of the Alachua County Environmental Protection Department (ACEPD) to improve the coordination of petroleum cleanup activities in potential brownfield zones.
ACEPD is also involved in an advisory and technical oversight role in the East Gainesville Sprout Project (EGSP), a City of Gainesville economic redevelopment effort focused on the rehabilitation of the Depot Avenue/South Main Street/Downtown corridor. This project has received funding from the US EPA and the State of Florida as a brownfields pilot project.
As part of this EGSP effort, a cooperative electronic database / GIS system has been developed by the University of Florida Geoplan Center. The GIS compiles environmental data about the East Gainesville Sprout Project area from ACEPD, FDOT, SJRWMD, FDEP and City of Gainesville sources into a single information bank for inventory and analysis purposes. Additionally, this information resource is to provide summary economic development information over the Internet for all interested parties.