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City receives grants for neighborhood cleanup

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The City of Jacksonville will receive $400,000 in grant funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to redevelop and revitalize neighborhoods.

The EPA selected Jacksonville for two Brownfields assessment grants at $200,000 each.

A Brownfields site is property where the expansion, redevelopment or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant.

"These grants will help reclaim these important properties, transforming them back into valuable places that will contribute to a better quality of life for Jacksonville neighborhoods," said Mayor Alvin Brown. "I'd like to thank the City's Brownfields Program Coordinator Heather Ireland for her hard work, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and all of our partners who helped secure these important funds for our community."

In all, 147 communities were selected for 2015 Brownfields Assessment Grant funding, totaling $54.3 million. 

Jacksonville is one of only nine Florida communities chosen, including Palatka and Live Oak.

"Redeveloping our Brownfields will help our community, especially in neighborhoods that can really benefit from new jobs and redevelopment. The City and the EPA are providing support that can lead to us clean up properties and ultimately provide a benefit to the community," said Council Member Reggie Brown, who has focused on re-activating Brownfields. 

According to the EPA, more than 30 percent of the communities chosen have been affected by plant closures, 40 percent by significant economic disruptions and 42 percent by adverse natural disasters.