Press Release (Media/Web)
Wednesday, December 14, 2016 9:02 AM
BATON ROUGE – On Tuesday, the Governor’s Task Force on Transportation Infrastructure Investment unanimously adopted the actionable recommendations that will be included in a report to the Governor by the end of the year. Today’s action is a culmination of over six months of meetings held in communities across the State as Task Force members sought input on how best to solve the State’s multimodal transportation needs.
The 10 resolutions include various policy and financing recommendations for addressing the State’s multimodal transportation needs for the Governor to consider as he plans for the 2017 Regular Legislative Session. Most notably, the Task Force has determined that an annual increase of $700 million for transportation is necessary and required in order to finance the important A and B megaprojects across the State and to better serve all users of the transportation system in both urban and rural areas of the state. The other resolutions establish a thoughtful framework within which to generate and strategically invest the new revenue.
“When the Task Force was formed, we were charged with making recommendations to address Louisiana’s multimodal infrastructure needs in a meaningful way and we have met that charge through these resolutions,” said DOTD Secretary Shawn D. Wilson, Ph.D. “The average driver in Louisiana only pays $108 per year in state gas tax, which has lost purchasing power every year since it was last adjusted in 1990. It takes funding to construct the dozens of key projects that are needed to improve safety, address congestion and facilitate economic development across the State. The time has come to do something about it. We can’t afford to standby any longer.”
“Given President-elect Trump’s discussions at the federal level about investing in the nation’s transportation infrastructure, State action to raise revenue for transportation is even more critical,” Wilson added. “Louisiana is not prepared to participate fully in new federal funding opportunities strictly due to limited revenue needed to successfully compete, match, and draw down additional federal funds.”
Gov. Edwards will review the Task Force report and determine what the Administration will submit to the State Legislature in the 2017 regular Session. Louisiana has a more than $13 billion backlog in state highway and bridge needs, plus another $16 billion is needed to address bigger projects outlined in the Statewide Transportation Plan. These projects include: widening I-10 in Baton Rouge and New Orleans; construction of I-49 South in Lafayette, I-12 on the Northshore; and I-20 in Shreveport and Monroe; replacing the I-10 Bridge over the Calcasieu River in Lake Charles; and a new bridge across the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge. The task force is co-chaired by Secretary Wilson and Maj. Gen. John Basilica, vice president and Gulf Coast district leader for HNTB Corporation.
In June 2016, Governor Edwards announced the formation of the task force. The group’s task was to find investment solutions to address transportation needs in Louisiana and to make recommendations to the Governor for legislative action by January 1, 2017. For more information, please visit the Task Force web page. Over 750 business leaders and citizens participated in regional task force meetings to offer input. These meetings were held in New Orleans, Shreveport, Lake Charles, Houma, Lafayette, Monroe, Alexandria, Baton Rouge and Houma.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) is committed to delivering transportation and public works systems that enhance the quality of life. In addition to more than 16,600 miles of roadway, including over 890 miles of interstate, DOTD supports the development of the state’s aviation, marine and rail infrastructures. Through this work, we are able to facilitate economic development, create job opportunities, improve vital evacuation routes, and make critical freight corridors safer and more efficient.
For more information, please visit www.dotd.la.gov, email email@example.com, or call DOTD’s Customer Service Center at (225) 379-1232 or 1-877-4LADOTD (1-877-452-3683). Business hours are 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Please let us know how we may better serve you: Customer Service Survey.
Announcement of a Routine Program Change to incorporate the St. Charles Parish Local Coastal Management Program into the Louisiana Coastal Resources Program
SCPDC is assisting St Charles Parish in its request to hold an approved local Coastal Zone Management Program.
In accordance with the regulations of the Federal Coastal Zone Management Act (15 CFR 923.80-84), the Louisiana Coastal Resources Program (LCRP), which is administered by the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, Office of Coastal Management (OCM), is submitting the St. Charles Parish Local Coastal Management Program to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office for Coastal Management (NOAA/OCM) for review and inclusion as a Routine Program Change (RPC) of the LCRP.
An electronic copy of the St. Charles Parish LCMP Programmatic Document is available on the web at: http://data.dnr.la.gov/lcp/StCharlesCZM.pdf.
Additionally, hard copies of the St. Charles Parish LCMP Programmatic Document are available for review at the following locations:
- Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, Office of Coastal Management in the LaSalle Building at 617 North Third Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70802;
- Louisiana State Library at 701 North 4th Street, Baton Rouge LA 70802;
- Office of the St. Charles Parish President, the Honorable Larry Cochran, St. Charles Parish Courthouse Third Floor, 15045 River Road, P.O. Box 302, Hahnville, LA 70057;
- Office of Earl Matherne, St. Charles Parish Planning and Zoning Director – Coastal Zone Management Administrator, St. Charles Parish Department of
- Planning and Zoning, 14996 River Road, P.O. Box 302, Hahnville, LA 70057;
- St. Charles Parish East Regional Library, 160 West Campus Drive, P.O. Box 759, Destrehan, LA 70047;
- St. Charles Parish West Regional Library, 105 Lakewood Drive, P.O. Box 949, Luling, LA 70070;
Administrator McCarthy Announces $55.2 Million to Assess and Clean Up Contaminated Sites, Promote Economic Redevelopment Nationwide
Brownfields grants to transform and uplift communities, leverage jobs
WASHINGTON – At an event at a former brownfield site in Burlington, Vermont, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy announced today the selection of 218 new grant investments totaling $55.2 million to 131 communities across the U.S. Recipients will receive approximately $200,000 – $820,000 in funding toward EPA cooperative agreements. The Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund and Cleanup (ARC) grants go to communities that are underserved and economically disadvantaged, including neighborhoods where environmental cleanup and new jobs are most needed.
“These grants will empower communities to transform idle, languishing lands into vibrant hubs for business, jobs, and recreation,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “It’s all about providing that initial funding, and sparking that first conversation to set stalled sites on a path toward smart, safe redevelopment that directly benefits communities.”
Today’s event highlighted progress made in cleaning up and redeveloping a formerly contaminated site in Burlington, the Maiden Lane project. Public and private investment in the site, including by ARC grant recipient Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission (CCRPC), led to the development of 28 housing units, including four affordable housing units. The CCRPC invested $38,000 in assessment funding from a previous assessment grant at the site, which leveraged private investment of more than $5 million.
EPA’s Brownfields Program strives to expand the ability of communities to recycle vacant and abandoned properties for new, productive reuses. The investments will provide communities with the funding necessary to assess, clean up and redevelop contaminated properties, boost local economies and leverage jobs while protecting public health and the environment. Brownfields ARC grants provide resources early on, which is critical for the success of communities’ abilities to leverage additional partnerships and resources. Partnerships between neighborhoods, local developers and governments are essential for impacted communities to acquire the resources needed to meet their revitalization goals.
Approximately $14 million of the assessment and cleanup funding will go to applicants who are also EPA Brownfields Area-Wide Planning grant recipients and Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)/Dept. of Transportation (DOT)/EPA partnership communities. Funding will help communities clean up and reuse brownfield sites to create community assets such as housing, recreation and open space, health facilities, employment, education, social services, transportation options, infrastructure and commerce opportunities. For example, Dubuque, Iowa’s new $200,000 cleanup grant will address contamination at the Blum property, a former scrap yard and recycling facility, and will lead to the development of a pocket park for residents of the distressed Washington Neighborhood within Dubuque. In addition to the benefits gained by creating more community spaces, this funding will also build upon Dubuque’s 2010 DOT TIGER grant and 2015 EPA Brownfields Area-Wide Planning grant which support the revitalization of the Washington Neighborhood.
Studies have shown that residential property values near brownfields sites that are cleaned up increased between 5 and 15 percent. Data also shows that brownfields clean ups can increase overall property values within a one-mile radius. Preliminary analysis of 48 brownfields sites shows that an estimated $29 million to $97 million in additional tax revenue was generated for local governments in a single year after cleanup. This is two to seven times more than the $12.4 million the EPA contributed to the cleanup of these brownfields.
This latest funding advances EPA’s broader commitment to making a visible difference in communities by focusing on coordinating federal investments to help environmentally overburdened, underserved, and economically distressed communities address local priorities. The Brownfields Program invests in communities where there are multiple federal agency partnerships at work. Aligning federal resources allows agencies to better meet communities’ needs and for communities to more effectively reap the benefits of collaborative investments. ARC grantees demonstrate a high level of preparedness to undertake specific projects, as they have firm commitments of leveraged funds to move projects forward. An impressive 70 percent of recipients have secured public and private resources which will directly align and further the efforts of proposed projects.
There are an estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites in America. Since the inception of the EPA’s Brownfields Program in 1995, cumulative brownfields program investments have leveraged more than $20 billion from a variety of public and private sources for cleanup and redevelopment activities. This equates to an average of $17.79 leveraged per EPA brownfields dollar expended. These investments have resulted in approximately 108,924 jobs nationwide. EPA’s Brownfields Program empowers states, communities and other stakeholders to work together to prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse brownfields sites.
List of the FY 2016 Applicants Selected for Funding: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/brownfields-fy16-arc-grants-selected-funding
More on ARC grants: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/types-brownfields-grant-funding
More on EPA’s Brownfields Program: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields
More on successful Brownfields stories: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/brownfields-success-stories
The South Central Planning and Development Commission (SCPDC) fully complies with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and related statuses, executive orders, and regulations in all programs and activities. SCPDC operates without regard to race, color, national origin, income, gender, age or disability. Any person who believes him/herself or any specific class of persons, to be subjected to discrimination prohibited by Title VI may by him/herself or by representative file a written complaint with the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LADOTD). LADOTD’s Title VI Program Manager may be reached via phone at 225-379-1382. A complaint must be filed no later than 180 days after the date of the alleged discrimination.
SCPDC meetings are conducted is accessible locations and materials can be provided in accessible formats and in languages other than English. If you would like accessibility or language accommodations, please contact the Ttitle VI Coordinator at SCPDC at 985-851-2900 (voice), 985-851-4472 (fax). If yo wish to attend an SCPDC function and require special accommodations, please give SCPDC one week’s notice in advance.
ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST PARISH – Parish President Natalie Robottom, Administrative and Utilities staff and Council members joined Chris Masingill, Federal Co-Chairman of the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) for a groundbreaking ceremony for wastewater improvements along Airport Road in Reserve. Also in attendance were Gerald Babin the design engineer with Professional Engineering Consultants (PEC), Dana Stumpf, CEO for Durr Heavy Construction, Martha Cazaubon with the South Central Planning and Development Commission, local business owners and elected officials.
The $448,000 wastewater improvement project includes a sewer lift station, force main and gravity system to serve businesses in the industrial park and the Airport. This project has been in the making for several years and is being completed with funding through two Delta Regional Authority grants totaling $290,000, with the remaining funds coming from the Waste Water Operating Fund.
“Investing in the public infrastructure of a community is a major aspect of the DRA’s mission because they are investments into the growth and health of a community’s bus nesses and economy,” said DRA Federal Co-Chairman Chris Masingill. “This project will help these local businesses save money, which the businesses can in turn invest in job creation and business expansion in St. John Parish.”
The construction contract for this project was awarded to Durr Heavy Construction of Hammond for installation of 2,645 linear feet of collection lines, manholes, a duplex pump station and 2,200 linear feet of force main to connect with the existing gravity system south of Airline Highway. Construction is expected to begin March 30 and last 180 days. Businesses along Airport Road were notified of the upcoming work and timeline and they will be updated throughout the process.
Although street closures are not anticipated at this time, driveways on Airport Road may be impacted for minimal periods of time during work. Once complete, wastewater services will be available to businesses on Airport Road, allowing them access to the public wastewater system in lieu of the individual treatment systems. This project will be an improvement and savings to current businesses, while attracting new businesses to this industrial complex.
As the project progresses, communications will be provided to businesses in the area through the Parish’s Mass Notification System. “We will ensure businesses continue to have access to their worksites during construction as we plan to complete the project with the least amount of disturbance as possible,” said Philip Patteson, Project manager. For questions or concerns, the company can be contacted at 504.402.7418.
“Providing quality infrastructure is a key factor in supporting business growth and retention. The St. John Airport Road Sewer Project is a prime example of what can be accomplished when we work together to improve our communities,” said Doyle Robinson, Governor Bobby Jindal’s designee to the DRA Board. Parish President Robottom thanked DRA, both federal and state representatives for their partnership, and expressed her excitement to see the project come to fruition. “Airport Road is an important business corridor and these much needed improvements will remove the burden of maintaining a waste water system from local business owners,” she said. “This project, as well as many others, is a testament to my staff’s active pursuit and use of grant funding to complete critical projects.”