The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (“ARRA”) allocated $100 million in additional funding to the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (US EPA) existing Brownfields and Land Revitalization program. US EPA’s Brownfields program is a nationally competitive program providing grant funding for assessment and clean-up of Brownfield properties. A number of grant opportunities to allocate the ARRA funding have recently become available both through the Ohio Department of Development (ODOD) as well as directly from US EPA.

ODOD Targeting Asbestos, Hazardous Substances and Petroleum Projects

On March 23, 2009, the ODOD Urban Development Division circulated an urgent alert stating that the agency intends to apply directly to US EPA for ARRA funding, and needs to create a pipeline of Ohio Brownfields projects to provide to the US EPA. Presumably, these submitted projects will then receive the awarded funding through an additional application process based on the projects' ability to create jobs. ODOD is requesting Ohio government entities and non-profit organizations provide eligible asbestos abatement, hazardous substance projects in the Voluntary Action program, and petroleum projects regulated by the Bureau of Underground Storage Tank Regulations by Monday, March 30, 2009 at 12 p.m. EST. Project eligibility is set forth on the Brownfields Fact Sheet, and applicants must apply by filling out the Project Information Form on ODOD’s website.

ODOD’s alert also states that previously submitting a project on recovery.ohio.gov does not qualify a project for this funding. The Project Information Form must be completed.

Job Training Grants Directly through US EPA

On March 19, 2009, US EPA issued a request for applications for eligible governmental entities and nonprofit organizations to submit environmental job training projects that will facilitate job creation in the assessment, remediation, or preparation of Brownfields sites for sustainable reuse. According to the request for application announcement, US EPA has allocated $5,000,000 in job training grants, and expects to enter into 10 to12 $500,000 cooperative agreements with eligible entities. The closing date for receipt of applications for this program is April 20, 2009. According to US EPA’s website, Brownfields Job Training Grants are intended to recruit, train, and place unemployed and under-employed individuals from Brownfields-impacted communities in full-time sustainable environmental employment.

Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup Grant Information Coming Soon

According to the US EPA’s Recovery website, additional information about new ARRA-funded Brownfields assessment, revolving loan fund, and clean up grant information will be forthcoming soon.