DALLAS – (June 12, 2020) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Louisiana’s South Central Planning and Development Commission (SCPDC) will receive a $300,000 Revolving Loan Fund for its South Louisiana Brownfields Coalition. The grant is part of $6.9 million in supplemental funding EPA is providing for 25 current successful Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund (Revolving Loan) grantees.
The SCPDC Brownfields Coalition will focus the supplemental funding to complete several existing projects. These include the Lafayette Courthouse Development, turning three buildings into a mixed-use facility with 66 multi-family units and 23,700 square feet of commercial space; the Lenox-Hotard American Legion cleanup to provide further services to the elderly and veteran community; the Joseph J. Cefalu Power Plant, for reuse by the city of Morgan Public Works operations; and the St. Luc French Immersion and Cultural Campus, for reuse as a business incubator and French cultural center.
“The South Central Planning and Development Commission continuously shows creativity and foresight in selecting properties for Brownfields funding and transforming them for new purposes,” said Regional Administrator Ken McQueen. “This funding will allow them to continue their work of creating new economic assets for the benefit of many South Louisiana parishes and communities.”
“SCPDC is pleased to be selected as one of the grantees for EPA’s Brownfields RLF grant. Through the $300,000 award of the supplemental funding, the pursuit of cleanup planning and implementation will continue throughout our South Louisiana Brownfields Coalition RLF program’s regional area,” said Chief Executive Officer Kevin Belanger. “EPA’s great relationship and continued support have allowed us to sustain a continual source of funding for our committed and potential brownfields cleanup activities and ongoing management of our RLF program. Throughout our past and continuing coordination with EPA, we thank you for the support of SCPDC’s Brownfields Coalition RLF program initiative and look forward to revitalizing our communities!”
All communities receiving supplemental funds have census tracks designated as federal Opportunity Zones within their jurisdiction. An Opportunity Zone is an economically distressed community where new investment, under certain conditions, may be eligible for preferential tax treatment. Most often, those who reside near these sites are low-income, minority, and disadvantaged Americans. When coupled with leveraged funds, such as other Brownfield grants or Opportunity Funds, Revolving Loans can be a powerful tool for revitalizing a community of need.
When Revolving Loans are repaid, the loan amount is returned to the fund and lent to other borrowers, providing an ongoing source of capital within a community. To date, EPA’s Revolving Loan grantees across the country have completed 759 cleanups and attracted approximately 45,000 jobs and $8.4 billion in public and private funding.
A brownfield is a property where the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. There are estimated to be more than 450,000 brownfields in the U.S.