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Transform Blighted Properties Like Abandoned Gas Stations, Defunct Manufacturing Sites, And Other Fallow Brownfields Into Sites For Productive Use, Helping To Take The Burden Of Polluted Properties Off Local Taxpayers

Schumer: This Funding Is Part Of $18+ Million for Brownfield Sites Across NY & Will Improve The Public Health & Safety Of Communities By Revitalizing Hazardous Sites While Creating New Development & Job Opportunities

Schumer: Cleanup And Reuse Of These Toxic Community Eyesores For Western NY Begins Today!

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer today announced Niagara County has been awarded $5 million and the Buffalo Niagara River Land Trust $500,000 in federal Brownfields funding through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse contaminated properties in Western NY. Schumer said this major funding will be used to clean up eyesores that have long plagued the area like abandoned gas stations, vacant industrial sites, and dozens of other hazardous sites across Western NY, revitalizing these areas for new development and economic opportunities.

“Niagara County and Buffalo have too many toxic eyesores and contaminated sites – from abandoned gas stations to defunct industrial sights that drive down property values and put public health at risk. But now thanks to this major $5.5 million federal investment, powered by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law I championed, we can accelerate the cleanup and reuse of contaminated eyesores in Western NY, making our communities healthier and cleaner, all while creating good-paying jobs and new development opportunities that enhance local tax rolls,” said Senator Schumer. “The Brownfields program has had tremendous success in transforming sites like these into areas of new growth and will supercharge cleanup and redevelopment efforts at lots across Western NY. I am proud to deliver this federal investment to revitalize our communities and will always fight for a brighter and cleaner future for Western NY.”

Niagara Falls Mayor Rob Restaino said, “This grant award will continue the efforts of our Administration to evaluate sites, long dormant due to environmental uncertainties, and assist in assessing necessary remediation and thereby leading to potential reuse. We appreciate the hard work of the Niagara County Brownfield Development Corporation and their partners in the receipt of this grant. We know that advocacy for these federal grants is important and we thank US Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer for his continued commitment to our community in achieving this grant award.”

“Thanks to Senator Chuck Schumer securing $1,500,000 in EPA Brownfields Assessment Funds for Niagara County, this funding will allow us to assess and continue revitalizing key sites in our community,” said North Tonawanda Mayor Austin Tylec. “By addressing the environmental concerns of these vacant and historically industrial parcels, we can pave the way for new development and economic growth. This grant not only supports our city but also underscores the importance of collaboration with our partners throughout Niagara County”

 The Buffalo Niagara River Land Trust will utilize its $500,000 in funding to inventory and prioritize sites and conduct 35 Phase I and four Phase II environmental site assessments. Grant funds also will be used to develop cleanup plans and support community engagement activities. The target area for this grant is three neighborhoods with environmental justice concerns in the City of Buffalo. Priority sites are located adjacent to waterways and include a 36-acre former manufacturing facility, three former gasoline stations, an electric rail car storage and repair facility, and several rail maintenance facilities.

Niagara County was awarded a $1.5 million Brownfields Assessment Grant to conduct 30 Phase I and 18 Phase II environmental site assessments. Assessment activities will focus on the Cities of Niagara Falls, Lockport, and North Tonawanda. Priority sites located within the Highland, Mid-City, Industrial Core, and Oliver Street areas include seven vacant parcels with a history of industrial use; a former rail yard; a nearly 4-acre parcel formerly used as a gas station, auto repair facility, and dry cleaner; and a vacant city block with eight parcels that formerly housed dry cleaners, gas stations, and other sites with a history of manufacturing and commercial use.

In addition, Niagara County was also awarded $3.5 million through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) for the Niagara County Brownfield Revolving Loan Fund (RLF). The RLF program has successfully made loans or subgrants leading to 17 cleanup projects that are either completed or in progress. Potential projects highlighted for use of the BIL funding include 6200 Niagara Falls Boulevard in Niagara Falls, New York, and the F&M Building in Lockport, New York. The BIL funding will extend the capacity of the program to provide funding for more cleanups in the most underserved areas in Niagara County.

The EPA’s Brownfields Program today announced that 178 communities are selected to receive funding through their competitive Multipurpose, Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup Grant Programs. In total, 13 communities across New York are expected to receive over $18 million in funding to combat brownfields. The Agency also announced non-competitive supplemental funding to several existing RLF grant recipients who already achieved success in their work to clean up and redevelop brownfield sites. RLF Grants provide funding for recipients to offer loans and subgrants to carry out cleanup activities at brownfield sites.

Schumer’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act included billions of dollars in funding to remediate contamination of sites throughout Upstate New York. This funding includes $1.2 billion for the Brownfields competitive grants and $300 million for Brownfields categorical grants to support the development of and progress being made under state-led Brownfields efforts. This investment in EPA’s Brownfields Program aims to spur revitalization in communities large and small, urban and rural to keep their areas healthy and sustainable.