EPA AND DOL SUPPORT AUTO COMMUNITY REDEVELOPMENT Release Date: 06/26/2012 Contact Information: Stacy Kika, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-564-0906, 202-564-4355
The EPA Brownfields Program has provided more than $5.39 million this year in brownfields grant funding to auto communities throughout the Great Lakes states. This is in addition to $4.4 million in funding in 2011. Mathy Stanislaus, Assistant Administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER) and Jay Williams, Deputy Director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs are also working jointly to focus efforts on communities hit hard by auto sector and other manufacturing industry closures and bankruptcies. The two will be participating in a series of roundtable meetings this summer as part of EPA’s and the Department of Labor's (DOL) Office for Auto Communities and Workers’ continuing efforts to support to auto communities and will focus on redevelopment opportunities and taking action on revitalizing auto communities. "During the course of my tenure at EPA, the Brownfields and Land Revitalization Programs have provided a continuum of support to auto communities to assist them with their revitalization efforts” said Mathy Stanislaus. “Taking action to support economic development and revitalizing communities is a top priority at EPA." These auto community roundtables bring together economic development leaders, elected officials and investors from the public and private sectors that are committed to redeveloping former auto properties. EPA, in partnership with The Manufacturing Alliance for Communities (formerly the Mayors Automotive Coalition) are working to identify strategies for bringing resources and technical assistance to affected communities, and redeveloping brownfield properties. The roundtables are structured to allow for local officials to identify their resource needs, as well as their visions for the revitalization of former auto sites in their communities. EPA’s Brownfields Program is about rebuilding communities, and EPA is making investments to help promote environmental health, leverage redevelopment and economic growth, and help generate job creation. Since its inception, EPA’s brownfields investments have leveraged more than $18.3 billion in cleanup and redevelopment. Over the years investment of federal funding has been able to leverage more than 75,000 jobs from both public and private sources. In addition to direct funding assistance EPA is providing training for local government officials to assist them in understanding which public funding opportunities may best meet their resource needs. Training efforts were initiated with a workshop on grant writing opportunities held in Lansing, Michigan last August. Additional training and workshops will be provided this summer and fall in response to particular resource needs identified by the members of The Manufacturing Alliance for Communities. EPA has also
worked closely with the Task Force Agencies, and particularly with DOL and The Manufacturing Alliance for Communities to help bring the necessary coordination and resources to these communities. They are working with state partners and local officials to identify opportunities for flexibility within EPA’s regulatory programs to encourage the revitalization of former auto plants. “Bringing together key stakeholders from the local, regional, state and federal levels to the table can result in a more robust dialogue, and therefore lead to more efficient solutions, both in the short term and the long term,” said Jay Williams, director of the Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers. “Such a strong federal presence is a demonstration of how committed the Obama administration is to our automotive and manufacturing communities.” Moving forward, DOL and EPA will coordinate with The Manufacturing Alliance for Communities and the Mayors Manufacturing Coalition, the RACER Trust, and charitable and philanthropic organizations such as the Funders Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities, to assess needs and to deliver resources. By developing a comprehensive tool box of the resources available and the processes and timelines for applying for competitive resources, they are working to identify potential ways for private foundation money to provide coordinated technical assistance that will leverage available federal and state resources.