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EPA Brownfields Program

EPA's Brownfields Program empowers states, communities, and other stakeholders to work together to prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse brownfields. A brownfield site is 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. On February 17, 2009, President Barack Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The Recovery Act is an unprecedented effort to jumpstart our economy, and create or save millions of jobs. This law provided stimulus funds to the Brownfields Program to award grants to evaluate and clean up former industrial and commercial sites. Under this law, EPA will provide financial assistance to eligible applicants through four competitive grant programs: assessment grants, revolving loan fund grants, cleanup grants, and job training grants.

Assessment Grants

$200,000 for hazardous substances (Recovery Act Funding)
$200,000 for petroleum (Recovery Act Funding)

EPA has selected the City of Durham for two brownfields assessment grants. Community-wide hazardous substances grant funds will be used to conduct five to six Phase I and three to four Phase II environmental site assessments. Petroleum grant funds will be used to conduct seven to eight Phase I and five to six Phase II environmental site assessments. Grant funds also will be used to update the city's inventory of sites, support community outreach activities, and conduct cleanup planning. The city will focus on properties in Northeast Central Durham.

Community Description

The City of Durham was selected to receive two brownfields assessment grants. Over the past 20 years, changing market forces have negatively impacted the most prominent industries in Durham (population 201,204). The closing of these industries has resulted in numerous brownfields. Much of the city's targeted Northeast Central Durham (NECD) area consists of active and abandoned industrial facilities. Brownfields inventory efforts have identified 29 sites. These sites include chemical facilities, scrap yards, automobile repair and gas stations, and railroad property. Most are next to low-income minority communities that could be impacted by site-related air pollutants and groundwater contamination. As of September 2008, the NECD area's unemployment rate was 15 percent. More than 36 percent of area families live below the poverty level, and 88 percent of residents are minorities. Brownfield assessments will allow the city to identify contaminated areas, and help facilitate cleanup. Redevelopment efforts are focused on establishing mixed-income, mixed-use neighborhoods in the NECD area.


For further information, including specific grant contacts, additional grant information, brownfields news and events, and publications and links, visit the EPA Brownfields Web site (http://www.epa.gov/brownfields).

EPA Region 4 Brownfields Team
(404) 562-8792
EPA Region 4 Brownfields Web site (http://www.epa.gov/region4/waste/bf)

Grant Recipient: City of Durham, NC
(919) 560-4965

The information presented in this fact sheet comes from the grant proposal; EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of this information. The cooperative agreement for the grant has not yet been negotiated. Therefore, activities described in this fact sheet are subject to change.

EPA 560-F-09-054
May 2009
United States
Protection Agency
Washington, D.C. 20460
Solid Waste
and Emergency
Response (5105T)

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