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Cleanup Grant

Grants to USA Nonprofits and Agencies for the
Cleanup of Contaminated Brownfield Sites

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

11/16/17 11:59 PM ET


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Grants to USA nonprofit organizations and government agencies for the cleanup of brownfield sites. Applicants are advised that the required registrations may take up to one month to complete. Brownfield sites are defined as as real property for which the redevelopment, expansion, or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of hazardous substances, pollutants, contaminants, controlled substances, petroleum or petroleum products, or is mine-scarred land.

A critical part of EPA’s assessment and cleanup efforts is to ensure that residents living in communities historically affected by economic disinvestment, health disparities, and environmental contamination have an opportunity to reap the benefits from brownfields redevelopment. EPA’s Brownfields Program has a rich history rooted in environmental justice and is committed to helping communities revitalize brownfield properties, mitigate potential health risks, and restore economic vitality.

Proposals will be evaluated based on the extent to which the applicant demonstrates: economic and environmental needs of the target area; a vision for the reuse and redevelopment of brownfield sites and the capability to achieve that vision; reasonable and eligible tasks; appropriate use of grant funding; incorporation of equitable and sustainable approaches; community engagement, partnerships and leveraged resources to complete the project; economic, environmental, health, and social benefits associated with the cleanup, reuse and redevelopment of brownfield sites; and other factors.

Cleanup Grants provide funding to carry out cleanup activities on brownfield sites owned by the applicant.

Applicants may request funding to address either a single brownfield site, or multiple
brownfield sites, within each proposal. An applicant can submit up to three cleanup proposals.

Applicants that exceed the maximum number of proposals allowable for Cleanup Grants will be contacted, prior to review of any of the proposals by EPA, to determine which proposals the applicant will withdraw from the competition. An applicant cannot propose an alternate site(s) if the site(s) identified in the proposal is determined by EPA to be ineligible for brownfields funding.

An applicant may request a grant to address hazardous substances and/or petroleum contamination at one or more site(s). If the site is co-mingled with both hazardous substances and petroleum contamination and the hazardous substances and petroleum-contaminated areas of the site are distinguishable, the proposal must address both eligibility criteria and indicate the dollar amount of funding requested for each type of contamination. If the petroleum and hazardous substances are co-mingled and not easily distinguishable, the applicant must indicate which contaminant is predominant and respond to the appropriate site eligibility criteria.

Uses of Grant Funds:

In addition to direct costs associated with the cleanup of a brownfield site:

1. Grant funds may be used for direct costs associated with programmatic management of the grant, such as required performance reporting, cleanup oversight, and environmental monitoring of cleanup work. All costs charged to Cleanup Grants must be consistent with the applicable 2 CFR 200 Subpart E.

2. A local government (as defined in 2 CFR 200.64, Local Government, and summarized in Section III.A. of these guidelines) may use up to 10 percent of its grant funds for any of the following activities:
a. Health monitoring of populations exposed to hazardous substances, pollutants, or
contaminants from a brownfield site; and
b. Monitoring and enforcement of any institutional control used to prevent human exposure to any hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant from a brownfield site.

3. A portion of the brownfields grant may be used to purchase environmental insurance.

Measuring Environmental Results - Anticipated Outputs/Outcomes:

EPA requires that grant applicants adequately describe environmental outputs and outcomes to be achieved under assistance agreements. Applicants must include specific statements describing the environmental results of the proposed project in terms of well-defined outputs and, to the maximum extent practicable, well-defined outcomes that will demonstrate how the project will contribute to the goals and objectives described above in Section I.C.

Applicants are required to describe how funding will help EPA achieve environmental outputs and outcomes in their responses to the ranking criteria (Sections IV.C.3.2., Program Description and Feasibility of Success and IV.C.3.4., Program Benefits). Outputs and outcomes specific to each project will be identified as deliverables in the negotiated workplan if the proposal is selected for award. Grantees will be expected to report progress toward the attainment of expected project outputs and outcomes during the project performance period.

Linking to Sustainable and Equitable Development Outcomes, and Supporting Environmental Justice:

Under the Project Description ranking criterion in Section IV.C.3.2., applicants should discuss how their proposed Brownfield Cleanup project will advance and incorporate sustainable and equitable practices. The proposal will be evaluated on the extent to which it will lead to sustainable and equitable development outcomes and will address environmental justice challenges as discussed below. EPA encourages applicants to provide specific examples of how the proposed Brownfield Cleanup project will work to remove economic, environmental and social barriers to make sustainable and equitable brownfields reuse of the highest priority.

Linking Brownfield Cleanup Approaches to Sustainable and Equitable Development Outcomes Applicants should incorporate sustainable and equitable reuse approaches into their proposed Brownfield Cleanup projects. Sustainable and equitable approaches can ensure brownfields are reused in ways that:

-Contribute to greener and healthier homes, buildings, and neighborhoods;
-Mitigate environmental conditions through effective deconstruction and remediation strategies which address solid and hazardous waste, and improve air and water quality;
-Improve access by residents to greenspace, recreational property, transit, schools, other nonprofit uses (e.g., libraries, health clinics, youth centers, etc.), and healthy and affordable food;
-Improve employment and affordable housing opportunities for local residents;
-Reduce toxicity, illegal dumping, and blighted vacant parcels; and
-Retain residents who have historically lived within the area affected by brownfields.

Sustainable development practices facilitate environmentally-sensitive brownfields cleanup and redevelopment while also helping to make communities more attractive, economically stronger, and more socially diverse. While ensuring consistency with community-identified priorities, sustainable development approaches encourage brownfield site reuse in ways that provide new jobs, commercial opportunities, open-space amenities, and/or social services to an existing neighborhood. Brownfield site preparation strategies that prevent contaminant exposure through green building design, materials recycling, enable urban agricultural reuse, promote walkability to/around the site and contribute to community walkability, and on-site stormwater management through green infrastructure, among other approaches, can contribute to sustainable development outcomes.

Equitable development occurs when intentional strategies are put in place to ensure that low- income and minority communities not only participate in but also benefit from decisions that shape their neighborhoods and regions. There are many different approaches that promote equitable development, such as ensuring a mix of housing types across a range of incomes; access to fresh food; access to jobs; and access to local capital. Programs or policies can be put in place to help ensure creation or integration of affordable housing; local or first-source hiring; minority contracting; inclusionary zoning (where a percentage of new housing is designated as affordable housing); healthy food retailers in places where they do not exist (e.g. food deserts); co-operative ownership models where local residents come together to run a community-owned, jointly owned business enterprise; rent control or community land trusts (to help keep property affordable for residents); supportive local entrepreneurial activities; and adherence to equal lending opportunities.

Linking Brownfield Cleanup Approaches to Environmental Justice:

Environmental justice can be supported through sustainable and equitable development approaches. EPA defines environmental justice as the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. EPA has this goal for all communities and persons across the nation. Environmental justice will be achieved when everyone enjoys the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards and equal access to the decision-making process to have a healthy environment in which to live, learn, and work.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 163777

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

EPA anticipates awarding an estimated 38 Cleanup Grants.

Estimated Size of Grant:

An eligible entity may apply for up to $200,000 per site.

Term of Contract:

The project period for Cleanup Grants is up to three years.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The following information indicates which entities are eligible to apply for a Cleanup Grant.

-General Purpose Unit of Local Government. [For purposes of the EPA Brownfields Grant Program, a “local government” is defined as stated under 2 CFR 200.64.: Local government means a county, municipality, city, town, township, local public authority (including any public and Indian housing agency under the United States Housing Act of 1937), school district, special district, intrastate district, council of governments (whether or not incorporated as a nonprofit corporation under state law), any other regional or interstate government entity, or any agency or instrumentality of a local government.]

-Land Clearance Authority or another quasi-governmental entity that operates under the supervision and control of, or as an agent of, a general purpose unit of local government.

-Government Entity Created by State Legislature.

-Regional Council or group of General Purpose Units of Local Government.

-Redevelopment Agency that is chartered or otherwise sanctioned by a state.


-Indian tribe other than in Alaska. (The exclusion of Alaskan Tribes from Brownfields Grant eligibility is statutory at CERCLA §104(k)(1). Intertribal Consortia, comprised of eligible Indian tribes, are eligible for funding in accordance with EPA’s policy for funding intertribal consortia published in the Federal Register on November 4, 2002, at 67 Fed. Reg. 67181. This policy also may be obtained from your Regional Brownfields Contact listed in Section VII.)

-Alaska Native Regional Corporation, Alaska Native Village Corporation, and Metlakatla Indian Community. (Alaska Native Regional Corporations and Alaska Native Village Corporations are defined in the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1601 and following).

-Nonprofit organizations. (For the purposes of the Brownfields Grant Program, the term “nonprofit organization” means any corporation, trust, association, cooperative, or other organization that is operated mainly for scientific, educational, service, charitable, or similar purpose in the public interest and is not organized primarily for profit; and uses net proceeds to maintain, improve, or expand the operation of the organization.)

Site Ownership:

To be eligible to receive a Cleanup Grant the applicant must be the sole owner of the site that is the subject of its cleanup grant proposal and must own the site by November 16, 2017. For the purposes of Brownfields Cleanup Grant eligibility determinations, the term “own” means fee simple title through a legal document, for example, a recorded deed; unless EPA approves a different ownership agreement. (EPA strongly recommends contacting the Regional Brownfields Contact listed in Section VII. to ensure the proposed site is eligible for funding.) EPA will find applicants that do not meet this requirement by November 16, 2017 ineligible. The grantee must retain ownership of the site until throughout the period of performance of the grant.

Grant funds cannot be used for the payment of:
1. Proposal preparation costs;
2. A penalty or fine;
3. A federal cost-share requirement (for example, a cost share required by other federal funds);
4. Administrative costs, such as indirect costs of grant administration, with the exception of financial and performance reporting costs;
5. A response cost at a brownfield site for which the recipient of the grant or loan is potentially liable under CERCLA §107;
6. A cost of compliance with any federal law, excluding the cost of compliance with laws applicable to the cleanup; or
7. Unallowable costs (e.g., lobbying) under 2 CFR 200, Part E as applicable.

Pre-proposal Conference:

To assist applicants with their proposals, EPA held the EPA National Assessment, RLF and Cleanup Guideline Outreach Webinar on Thursday, October 5, 2017.

The webinar recording, presentation and materials are available at:

Pre-Application Information:

The Brownfields Law requires applicants to provide a 20 percent cost share for Cleanup Grants. For example, a $200,000 cleanup grant will require a $40,000 cost share. The cost share, which may be in the form of a contribution of money, labor, material, or services, must be for eligible and allowable costs under the grant and cannot include administrative costs, as described in the Brownfields Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) (attached below). Applicants may request a waiver of the 20 percent cost share requirement based on hardship. EPA will consider hardship waiver requests on a case-by-case basis and will approve such requests on a limited basis.

The closing date and time for receipt of proposals is November 16, 2017, 11:59 PM Eastern Time (ET). Proposals must be submitted through

In order to submit a proposal5 through, you must:
1. Have an active DUNS number,
2. Have an active System for Award Management (SAM) account in,
3. Be registered in, and
4. Be designated as your organization’s AOR.

The registration process for all of the above items may take a month or more to complete.

View this opportunity on

Funding Guidelines, Tips, and Webinar Materials:


Climate Adaptation and Brownfields:

Brownfields - All Appropriate Inquiries:

Cleanup Success Stories:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

M. Jerry Minor-Gordon
(202) 566-1817

Office of Brownfields and Land Revitalization
Mail Code 5105 T
1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20460

CFDA Number:


Funding or Pin Number:


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

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