State receives money to clean-up contaminationThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded $4 million to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) and two other government entities for cleaning up contaminated sites.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded $4 million to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) and two other government entities for cleaning up contaminated sites.
DEED received $2 million in supplemental funding for its Minnesota Cleanup Revolving Loan Program, while $1.8 million was awarded to Hennepin County and $200,000 to the St. Paul Port Authority.
DEED will use the $2 million to provide low-interest loans for the cost of converting contaminated property or brown fields into marketable industrial or commercial sites. Half of the funding can be spent for cleaning up sites polluted by hazardous substances and the other half for cleaning up land polluted by petroleum.
“Cleaning up contaminated sites is a good public investment,” said DEED Commissioner Dan McElroy. “These projects put formerly polluted land back to use, helping to generate economic development, new jobs and tax revenues.”
Since the fund was created in 2003, the agency has awarded $2 million in low-interest loans for four projects in the state, putting previously polluted parcels back into productive use. One of those successful projects was the 800,000-square-foot Highway 7 Corporate Center in St. Louis Park, where an industrial lead smelter had operated for 42 years. The redevelopment created 350 jobs and increased the tax base by $5 million.
Cities, counties, developers, sub-units of local governments such as economic development authorities, housing redevelopment authorities and port authorities, and for-profit and nonprofit organizations are among the entities eligible for low-interest loans from the Minnesota Cleanup Revolving Loan Program.
Further details about the program are available at www.deed.state.mn.us/community/cleanup/.
The St. Paul Port Authority targeted its funding for demolishing the Minnehaha Lanes building at 955 Seminary Avenue in St. Paul. The site will be cleared and redeveloped. Hennepin County will use its funding for its Cleanup Revolving Loan Program.
Nationwide, the EPA announced $55 million in funding for cleaning up contaminated sites. Of that amount, $42 million was funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and $13 million through the agency’s brown fields program.