(WAFB) - South Louisiana received a $400,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help communities safely clean up contaminated properties and encourage economic growth.
The grant came from the EPA’s Brownfields Program and will be managed by Louisiana’s South Central Planning and Development Commission. A brownfield is a property that has or potentially has the presence of hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants. These hazardous materials keep the property from being developed or expanded.
As for the funding for South Louisiana, a portion of it will be used to retrofit the former Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall property in Houma.
“This is a win for South Louisiana,” South Louisiana Congressman Garret Graves said in a prepared statement. “These investments will help advance the economic development progress already underway across the area and should attract additional opportunity to our communities.”
Graves has helped bring into law federal legislation that reauthorized the EPA’s Brownfields Program.
The United States has more than 450,000 brownfields. Leaders say cleaning up brownfields increases local tax revenue. A study of 48 brownfield sites found that about $29 million to $97 million in additional local tax revenue was generated in a single year after cleanup.
Cleaning up brownfields also helps to increase residential property values. Another study found that property values of homes near revitalized brownfields sites increased between 5 and 15 percent.