Waterloo Wins $300,000 Federal Brownfields Grant

June 03, 2020

As part of HR Green’s ongoing commitment to helping communities leverage Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) funding for brownfields assessments and cleanup, the company announced today that it has helped the City of Waterloo, IA secure an EPA grant totaling $300,000.

Over the past twenty years, HR Green has successfully written and secured 16 individual EPA Brownfields grants totaling $2.95 million on behalf of Waterloo. These efforts assisted in transitioning numerous blighted properties plagued by contamination issues into assets that expanded the local tax base, created jobs, stabilized declining neighborhoods, and protected human health and the environment. Examples include the former Wonder Bread factory (Single Speed Brewing), former Grand Hotel (Grand Crossings condominiums), former Construction Machinery Company (Public Works building), Standard Forwarding, and Rath buildings (Human Services Campus), and downtown flood-damaged properties (Cedar Valley Sportsplex).

EPA defines a brownfield as a property whose redevelopment or expansion may be complicated by the presence of a hazardous material or contaminant. The EPA estimates there are more than 450,000 so-called brownfields in the U.S. Many communities find the lingering perception of contamination makes it difficult to redevelop these properties. Assessment activities provide redevelopment assistance to remove the stigma.

HR Green helps communities compete for assessment, cleanup, and multi-purpose grants to return these properties to productive reuses. In this instance, the grant funds will be used by the city to evaluate older industrial sites within the urban core and along the Broadway Street corridor for potential hazards that could hamper redevelopment efforts.

Waterloo was only one of three communities in Iowa to receive a portion of the $65 million in funding from the EPA’s Brownfields Program. Since the initiative began, HR Green has helped various communities nationwide secure approximately $13.5 million in grants.

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