Former Horace Mann Elementary School

The Biden administration, through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), announced that Kansas City, Missouri, was selected to receive $5.75 million in Brownfields and Revolving Loan Fund grants for selected communities. Kansas City was selected for $850,000 in Brownfields grants targeting Parade Park Homes sites and $4.9 million in Brownfields Revolving Loan Funds. Of that $4.9 million, $1 million will be available to the Bi-State jurisdiction area that includes the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas. These grants are supported by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which provides a total of $1.5 billion to advance environmental justice, spur economic revitalization, and create jobs by cleaning up contaminated, polluted, or hazardous brownfield properties.

A brownfield is a property for which the expansion, redevelopment or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant. 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. The federal funds allocated in the Kansas City area will provide work opportunities for labor as well.

$500,000 Brownfields Assessment Grant
Kansas City was selected for community-wide assessment work and the development of two cleanup plans within the city’s 22 Urban Core Opportunity Zones. The priority site is Parade Park Homes – South, which formerly housed a large steam laundry plant and dry-cleaning facility and a former paint and varnish manufacturer. This selected grant will also support a site reuse plan and the preparation of outreach materials in English and Spanish. Parade Park Homes – South has 17 buildings and a total of 182 residential townhome units.

$350,000 Brownfields Assessment Grant
Kansas City was also selected for environmental assessment and the development of cleanup plans for the Parade Park Homes – North site, which formerly housed a gas station, an auto repair garage, and a dry-cleaning operation, and is adjacent to other former gas stations and garages. This selected grant also will be used to develop a brownfields resource roadmap and conduct community outreach activities.

$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 Hardesty Federal Complex Building #9, which is anticipated to be primarily redeveloped as mixed-income housing. Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding will extend the capacity of the program to provide funding for more cleanups in the most overburdened areas of Kansas City, Missouri.

$1 Million Brownfields Coalition Revolving Loan Fund
The Kansas City, Missouri, Bi-State Brownfields Coalition Revolving Loan Fund was selected to receive $1.0 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.

What they are saying…
“Right now, Wyandotte County families are living near contaminated sites, dealing with possible lead or chemical exposure and dangerous health effects – it’s unacceptable,” said U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids (Kansas). “I voted for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to improve the health and economic outlook of our communities, and I’m glad to say that help is on the way to clean up these sites and ensure every Kansas family has clean air, clean water, and a brighter future.”

“We are pleased to announce $5.75 million in grants selected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for Kansas City, which positions our city and Brownfield Coalition partners to build upon our ongoing work to reactivate once-polluted and dangerous industrial sites – which will benefit Kansas City families, property owners, and our climate,” said Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas.

This month, the EPA also announced that Johnson County would receive a loan for $281 million through the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA). Leaders will use the loan to totally reconstruct the Nelson Treatment Facility; the entire project cost will total $574 million. The funds will help pay for upgrades to the wastewater treatment facility and help keep rates low for property owners in the county. The bipartisan infrastructure bill made it possible for the Nelson Wastewater Facility to obtain the loan.