EPA's Brownfields Program empowers states, communities, and other stakeholders to work together to prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse brownfields. A brownfield site is real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. The Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act of 2002, as amended by the Brownfields Utilization, Investment and Local Development Act of 2018, was passed to help states and communities around the country clean up and revitalize brownfield sites. Under this law, EPA provides financial assistance to eligible applicants through five competitive grant programs: Multipurpose Grants, Assessment Grants, Revolving Loan Fund Grants, Cleanup Grants, and Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Grants. Additionally, funding support is provided to state and tribal response programs through a separate mechanism.
EPA has selected the City of Albany for a Brownfields Assessment Grant. Community-wide grant funds will be used to develop 10 Phase I and four Phase II environmental site assessments. Grant funds also will be used to prepare four cleanup and reuse plans, develop a community involvement plan, and conduct other community involvement activities. The target area for this grant is Albany's downtown and adjacent historic African-American Harlem District. Priority sites include the historic Ritz and Albany Theaters.