The Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act (P.L. 107_118) reforms the federal Superfund law by providing liability protection for prospective purchasers, contiguous property owners, and innocent land owners, and authorizes increased funding for state and local programs that assess and clean up brownfields. Under Superfund, owners and operators of a contaminated site can be held liable for cleanup costs regardless of whether they caused the contamination. This liability potentially creates a strong incentive for businesses to avoid redeveloping brownfields. This new legislation provides relief from Superfund liability while ensuring that polluted sites continue to be remediated. The Act defines a "brownfields site" as real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. Further information about this law is available at http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/.
The following are examples of the types of revitalization funding available from EPA and described in Section 1 of this directory.
EPA has provided Brownfields funding to states, tribes, and local governments for pilot projects, assessing the potential for additional projects, and towards funding voluntary cleanup programs. EPA has provided funding in amounts up to $200,000 for up to 2 years to assess specific sites, to test proposed cleanup methods, and to look at the viability of projected future site uses. Grantees report that EPA funding so far has supported over 3,800 property assessments and helped leverage more than $4.8 billion in cleanup and economic redevelopment monies which, in turn, has created more than 21,000 jobs.
EPA has selected revolving loan fund pilot projects (each funded up to $1 million per eligible entity over 5 years). The funds are used by the recipient to capitalize a loan fund that in turn makes local cleanups possible. Over 50 Brownfields-related job training and redevelopment demonstration projects have been funded up to $200,000 over 2 years. More than 1,199 people, who live in communities that have been affected by brownfields, have been trained for new jobs.
EPA has launched nine RCRA Brownfield Prevention Initiative Pilots (unfunded) and 14 Targeted Site Efforts (with a small amount of funding) to showcase the flexibility of RCRA corrective actions and innovative approaches to removing barriers to clean up and revitalization of RCRA sites. These RCRA pilots test innovative approaches, showcase expedited cleanup decisions, and consider future uses of contaminated brownfields.
Targeted Brownfields assessments (TBA) have been conducted by EPA and the states at more than 996 properties in local communities that may not have a brownfields pilot. TBAs provide funding or technical assistance for environmental assessments that promote cleanup and redevelopment of specific brownfields properties by providing useful information about cleanup methods and potential redevelopment strategies.
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