Event at former Hardesty Federal Complex, site of brownfields cleanups, celebrates Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding
August 31, 2022
LENEXA, KAN. (AUG. 31, 2022) – Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Deputy Administrator Janet McCabe joined EPA Region 7 Administrator Meg McCollister to deliver a novelty big check totaling $5.75 million to the city of Kansas City, Missouri. These grants are provided through Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding, including $3.9 million to the Kansas City, Missouri, Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund.
U.S. Representative Emanuel Cleaver II (5th District – Missouri) and Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Pro Tem Kevin McManus joined EPA at the former Hardesty Federal Complex in Kansas City, Missouri, to celebrate the funding selection, where multiple buildings have been the site of brownfield cleanups.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will extend the capacity of Kansas City’s Brownfields program to provide funding for more cleanups in the city’s most disadvantaged areas.
Proposed plans at the former Hardesty Federal Complex Buildings 1 and 2 include abatement of contaminants such as asbestos, lead-based paint, and other hazards. This work is an important step toward redeveloping the buildings into housing, retail, and commercial space, and it has the potential to be funded through the Kansas City, Missouri, Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund.
“Across the country, thousands of sites like the former Hardesty Federal Complex right here in Kansas City sit idle, too often jeopardizing the health and economic security of local communities,” McCabe said. “Cleaning up and reinvesting in these properties has the power to turn once blighted areas into economic engines right here in Missouri, providing opportunities for job growth, increasing tax revenues, and protecting people’s health and the environment.”
“We are thrilled to have Deputy Administrator McCabe, Congressman Cleaver, and the city of Kansas City, Missouri, join our celebration of the Brownfields program,” McCollister said. “We’re excited for Kansas City to harness the potential of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to build on past successes, clean up contaminated sites, and spur reinvestment in local communities that need it most.”
“I proudly supported the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to ensure that critical federal investments were made right here in communities throughout Kansas City, and that’s exactly what we are seeing happen today,” Cleaver said. “I was thrilled to join EPA Deputy Administrator McCabe and Regional Administrator McCollister to highlight the funding for necessary work to address Kansas City’s brownfields and revitalize communities.”
After the grant selection event, EPA joined Congressman Cleaver and community leaders from the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC), Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), and Mattie Rhodes Center for a roundtable on community reinvestment. The group focused on the Bi-State Sustainable Reinvestment Corridor, announced by Congressman Cleaver in February 2022.
Brownfield projects can range from cleaning up buildings with asbestos or lead contamination to assessing and cleaning up abandoned properties that once managed dangerous chemicals. Once cleaned up, former brownfield properties can be redeveloped into productive uses, such as grocery stores, affordable housing, health centers, museums, parks, and solar farms.
The Brownfields program advances President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which aims to deliver at least 40% of the benefits of certain government programs to disadvantaged communities. Approximately 86% of the communities selected to receive this year’s Brownfields funding have proposed projects in historically underserved areas.
$3.9 Million Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund
The Kansas City, Missouri, Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund was selected to receive $3.9 million in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding because it is a high-performing program with 10 projects completed and one cleanup near completion at the former Hardesty Federal Complex Building #9, which is anticipated to be primarily redeveloped as mixed-income housing. Other recent projects include the Negro League Baseball Museum Buck O’Neil Education Center at the former Paseo YMCA, which will host a grand opening this fall.
$1 Million Brownfields Coalition Revolving Loan Fund
The Kansas City, Missouri, Bi-State Brownfields Coalition Revolving Loan Fund was selected to receive $1 million in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding because it is a high-performing program, having committed most of its initial funds to the cleanup of the Crispus Attucks Elementary School in the 18th and Vine District. The historic school building is targeted for redevelopment as the Zhou B Arts and Cultural Center that will support local African American arts, and house Friends of Alvin Ailey and studio maker spaces.
$500,000 Brownfields Assessment Grant
Kansas City, Missouri, was selected for community-wide assessment work and the development of two cleanup plans within the city’s 22 Urban Core Opportunity Zones.
$350,000 Brownfields Assessment Grant
Kansas City, Missouri, was also selected for environmental assessment and the development of cleanup plans, a brownfields resource roadmap, and to conduct community outreach activities.
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