$400,000 in federal clean-up money for St. Pete's southern neighborhoods
The federal government has awarded $400,000 in EPA Brownfields Assessment grants to clean up eight sites and conduct assesssment on 20 more in the city's newly-created South St. Petersburg Community Redevelopment Area.
“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfields grants will boost jobs and business opportunities in South St. Petersburg by cleaning up properties that need it through environmental remediation," said U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor in a news release. “Redevelopment in South St. Petersburg will open up all sorts of economic opportunities in neighborhoods where new jobs are needed most."
That Friday afternoon release stated Castor "championed" the grants, which emerged as a recommendation from a series of environmental justice discussions held by the congresswoman last year in the Tampa Bay region.
Mayor Rick Kriseman applauded the news.
“We are very pleased to receive this competitively awarded grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency," Kriseman said. “My administration will concentrate the investment of these funds in the South St. Petersburg Community Redevelopment Area, to add to the community development tools we have already established with the goals of increasing investment, supporting job creation and entrepreneurship, focusing on workforce training and development, while eradicating blight and environmental hazards for our residents.”
Brownfields are polluted parcels of land that endanger public health and hamper redevelopment. There are more than 450,000 brownfields nationwide. Since 1995, the EPA says, more than $20 billion in public and private funds have cleaned up and redeveloped land that has created 108,000 jobs.