This article provides tips and a lot of resources for redevelopment funding for your brownfield initiative. From traditional sources to little-known sources, there is a variety of funding to assist in cleanup and redevelopment.
What Is a Brownfield?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), brownfields are 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. Cleaning up and reinvesting in these properties protects the environment, reduces blight, and takes development pressures off greenspaces and working lands.
What Are Some Sources for Brownfield Funding?
EPA's Brownfields Program provides direct funding for brownfield assessment, cleanup, revolving loans, and environmental job training. To facilitate the leveraging of public resources, EPA's Brownfields Program collaborates with other EPA programs, other federal partners, and state agencies to identify and make available resources that can be used for brownfield activities. In addition to direct brownfield funding, EPA also provides technical information on brownfield financing matters. Here are some sources with annotations:
- Area-Wide Planning Pilot Program
Grant funding and direct assistance (through agency contract support) to result in an area-wide plan which will inform the assessment, cleanup, and reuse of brownfield properties and promote area-wide revitalization.
- Assessment Grants
Provide funding for a grant recipient to inventory, characterize, assess, and conduct planning and community involvement related to brownfield sites.
- Revolving Loan Fund Grants
Enable states, political subdivisions, and Indian tribes to make low-interest loans to carry out cleanup activities at brownfield properties.
- Cleanup Grants
Provide funding for a grant recipient to carry out cleanup activities at brownfield sites.
- Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Grants
Designed to provide funding to eligible entities, including nonprofits, to recruit, train, and place predominantly low-income and minority, unemployed, and under-employed residents of solid and hazardous waste-impacted communities with the skills needed to secure full-time, sustainable employment in the environmental field and in the assessment and cleanup work taking place in their communities.
- Multi-Purpose Pilot Grants
A single grant is provided to an eligible entity for both assessment and cleanup work at a specific brownfield site owned by the applicant.
- Training, Research, and Technical Assistance Grants
These fund eligible organizations to provide training, research, and technical assistance to facilitate brownfield revitalization.
- Targeted Brownfield Assessments
The TBA program is designed to help states, tribes, and municipalities–especially those without EPA brownfield Assessment Pilots/Grants–minimize the uncertainties of contamination often associated with brownfield.
Other Funding Sources
The EPA has 10 federal regions. In each region, some of the federal money for brownfield restoration trickles from the feds to state railroad commissions. You can find your EPA regional office to ask about local grant funding available to assist with your brownfield project.
- Here is an example from the Region 6 Railroad Commission: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/state_tribal/2013_brownfields_state_report_region_6.pdf
- Here is a link the Federal Railroad Commission Financial Management Office (you can email with your questions about how to find state-level grant funding designated for brownfield project): https://www.fra.dot.gov/Page/P0006
Private Sector Funding for a Brownfield Project
Foundations can fund portions of your projects! Here are some links:
- Environmental Grantmakers Association: coalition of more than 225 foundations that give environmental grants
- Funders' Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities: offers a searchable database of foundations that support various elements of smart growth.
Interested in learning about how corporate grants can support your projects, environmental or otherwise? Click the button below: