Sneak Preview: EPA Issues Guidance for Brownfield Cleanup Awards

Jerry Ashworth
October 3, 2019 at 07:36:09 ET
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(The following was excerpted from a recent article in the Federal Grants Development Handbook.) The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued guidance to help states and tribal organizations develop and submit award applications for federal fiscal year (FY) 2020 funding to clean up brownfield sites under section 128(a) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) (Pub. L. 96-510), as amended.

By enacting the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act of 2002 (Pub. L.107-118, 115 Stat. 2356), which added section 128(a) to CERCLA, Congress highlighted the need for states and tribes to remediate brownfield sites (i.e., real property containing or potentially containing a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant). The Section 128(a) State and Tribal Response Program (CFDA No. 66.817) authorizes a noncompetitive $50 million grant program that enables state and tribal efforts to assess, clean up and redevelop brownfields and other sites with actual or perceived contamination. Funding not only supports brownfield remediations, but also training, research and technical assistance to individuals and organizations, as appropriate, to assess the inventory of brownfield sites, community involvement or site preparation.

“This funding is intended for those states and tribes that have the required management and administrative capacity within their government to administer a federal grant,” EPA explained in a Sept. 23 Federal Register notice announcing the issuance of the guidance.

Eligible applicants may use the new guidance when they submit applications for funding between Oct. 1 through Dec. 6. Section 128(a) cooperative agreements are awarded and administered by EPA’s regional offices, and regional personnel will provide technical assistance to states and tribes as they apply for and carry out the agreements.

EPA added that the Section 128(a) Program awards may be included in state and tribal Performance Partnership Grants under 40 C.F.R. Part 35, Subparts A and B, with the exception of funds used to capitalize a revolving loan fund for brownfield remediation under CERCLA section 104(k)(3) or for funds received for a Small Technical Assistance Grant under CERCLA section 128(a)(1)(B)(iii)(III).

(The full version of this story has now been made available to all for a limited time here.)

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