EPA accepting proposals for Brownfields Assessment and Cleanup Grants

The Double Wide Grill in Pittsburgh, PA was built in a former gas station building with help from the EPA Brownfields Program. Photo by EPA Smart Growth via Flickr.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced three grant programs for 2015 to help clean up land contaminated by petroleum and hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants.

Brownfields Assessment Grants provide funding for developing inventories of brownfields, prioritizing sites, conducting community involvement activities and conducting site assessments and cleanup planning related to brownfield sites. Individual grants go up to $200,000.


Information on Federal Grant Opportunities

Looking for funding for a new project in your community? HUD, DOT, EPA and several other agencies have made available millions of dollars in funding to support the planning and implementation of projects that promote sustainable communities. Funding is available for a variety of uses, including community planning, affordable housing finance, technical assistance, research, and capital infrastructure investments.

To help you navigate the complex maze of opportunities, Reconnecting America has compiled a list of all upcoming programs and deadlines. Visit their federal grant page for more information.

For more on the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, visit https://smartgrowthamerica.org/partnership.


Funding Opportunity: Rural Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge

Four federal agencies are offering $15 million in funding to spur economic growth in rural areas. The approximately 20 regions to receive funding will also be eligible for technical assistance resources from an additional nine agencies. From the U.S. Department of Agriculture announcement:

Funds awarded to the winning applicants can be used to support and accelerate a range of projects including improving rural communities’ capacity and ability to undertake projects related to housing, community facilities, or economic and community development along with creation of regional linkages that connect communities with innovation clusters and regional opportunities leading to job creation, expanded markets, and economic growth.


HUD announces 2011 Sustainable Communities Grants awards

A detail from St. Charles Parish, Lousiana’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan. St. Charles Parish is one of the communities selected to receive one of HUD’s 2011 Sustainable Communities Grants, announced today. Photo from the St. Charles Parish of Planning and Zoning.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today its 2011 Sustainable Communities Grants, which aim to improve the economic competitiveness of communities by linking housing with good jobs, quality schools, and transportation. The grants are part of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, which helps urban, suburban and rural communities create jobs and improve housing, transportation, and the economy.

The grants announced today will invest $96 million in 27 communities for Community Challenge grants and 29 areas for Regional Planning grants. Community Challenge Grants help reform and reduce barriers to achieving affordable, economically vital and sustainable communities. Regional Planning Grants encourage grantees to support regional planning efforts that integrate housing, land-use, economic and workforce development, transportation, and infrastructure developments to empowers regions to consider how all of these factors work together to create more jobs and economic opportunities.


Smart growth news – August 11

Census tracks 20 years of sweeping change
USA Today, August 10, 2011
The USA is bigger, older, more Hispanic and Asian and less wedded to marriage and traditional families than it was in 1990. It also is less enamored of kids, more embracing of several generations living under one roof, more inclusive of same-sex couples, more cognizant of multiracial identities, more suburban, less rural and leaning more to the South and West.

Smart growth proponents say building up might save Baton Rouge
Dig (La.), August 10, 2011
Baton Rouge is a wide city, and we are all familiar with both ends of her. Drive down Airline to the pet store, over to Siegen for the bookstore, head over to the overpass area for lunch – that’s a whole Saturday right there. We sprawl, and we’re suffering because of it, not just in terms of peace of mind, but economically: a bankrupt bus system, ghost neighborhoods, crumbling infrastructure within the city, while development in the surrounding suburbs are flourishing.

Adirondack communities to get “growth grants”
Associated Press via Seattle Post-Intelligencer, August 11, 2011
The Department of Environmental Conservation is awarding $500,000 in “smart growth grants” to nine Adirondack projects that link economic development with environmental protection and quality of life in the communities.

Freight plan ‘vital’ to economy
Cincinnati Enquirer (Ohio), August 10, 2011
“The decades of freight are upon us,” said Mark Policinski, executive director of the Ohio Kentucky Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI). “Those regions, those areas, those countries, that can move goods more efficiently than others will win. And they that cannot, will lose,” he said.


National Associations Congratulate HUD Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant Awardees


National Associations Congratulate HUD Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant Awardees
Organizations Urge Continued Federal Investments to Ensure Nationwide Community Economic Competitiveness

WASHINGTON, DC – The National League of Cities (NLC), National Association of Regional Councils (NARC), Smart Growth America (SGA), the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) and ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability USA (ICLEI) congratulate the cities, towns, communities and regions which today were awarded Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). These communities will now undertake critical regional planning and implementation activities that support building sustainable, livable communities through regional cooperation, broad stakeholder and community involvement and coordinated processes. The organizations also offer gratitude to HUD and the other federal agencies involved for undertaking an inaugural and historic process that will yield results for years to come.