The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has released its Florida Brownfields Redevelopment Program Annual Report for fiscal year 2011-12, which highlights job creation efforts and projects new capital investment of $388 million to date in 2012.
The Florida Brownfields Program facilitates redevelopment and job creation by empowering communities, local governments and other stakeholders to work together to assess, clean up and reuse sites that have been previously impacted by pollutants. The annual report is submitted to the Governor, Florida Senate President and Florida Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Established in 1997, the Florida Brownfields Redevelopment Program utilizes economic and regulatory incentives to encourage the use of private revenue to restore and redevelop sites, create new jobs and boost the local economy. To make the program's incentives available to a community, a local government must designate a brownfields area by resolution. Local governments have designated 312 current brownfield areas statewide.
The annual report identifies the accomplishments of the program and benefits to Florida in the last fiscal year:
-From July 2011 through July 2012, seven brownfield sites completed cleanup, bringing the total to 54 sites statewide since the program began in 1997.
-The Department received 42 Voluntary Cleanup Tax Credit applications, approving tax credits totaling more than $5.1 million for site rehabilitation work completed in fiscal year 2011.
-In calendar year 2011, the program facilitated a 3,436 projected new direct jobs, 4,648 new indirect jobs and more than $208 million in new capital investment.
-To date in 2012, 3,542 new direct jobs, 6,788 new indirect jobs and $388 million in new capital investment are attributable to the program.
The Environmental Protection Agency will provide its third brownfields assessment grant of $400,000 to the town of Framingham, Mass.
This grant, which totals $800,000 since 2007, offers Framingham hazardous substance and petroleum funding to help expand their assessment program.
Leveraging these funds will help bring additional resources to the downtown and Southeast Framingham, where the largest numbers of potential brownfields exist, EPA said. The funding is part of more than $18 million in EPA brownfields investments in six New England states to protect health and the environment, create jobs and promote economic redevelopment. In Massachusetts this year, EPA is providing $6.75 million in 33 separate brownfields grants to communities statewide.
There are an estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites in America. The EPA’s Brownfields Program empowers states, communities, and other stakeholders to work together to prevent, assess, safely clean up, and reuse brownfields, according to the EPA. A brownfield site is real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence of a hazardous material.
Grant funds can assist work to reclaim sites including old textile mills, sites containing hazardous substances and petroleum products and other abandoned industrial and commercial properties.
Source: Boston Business Journal