The City of Dallas will spend $1.5 million in federal taxpayer money to clean up brownfield sites around the city, particularly in South Dallas and near Fair Park.
During Wednesday’s City Council meeting, council members unanimously approved the acceptance of two Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grants for this purpose.
Brownfield sites are abandoned properties with suspected hazardous substances or environmental pollutants. Funded by taxpayers through the EPA, brownfield programs aim to “empower” local communities to revitalize such properties.
In June, the EPA announced that the City of Dallas would receive $1.5 million to “expedite the assessment and cleanup of brownfield sites.”
“We are accepting money awarded by the EPA to the City that’s totaling $1.5 million, and these two grants will speak to the great work of our Office of Environmental Quality and Sustainability to advance our City goals,” said Council Member Paula Blackmon (District 9) during Wednesday’s meeting.
“The $1.5 million in EPA granting funds adds to the $1.5 [million] in general fund dollars to realize a brownfield program that focuses on revitalizing our communities,” she said.
Blackmon added that the Office of Environmental Quality and Sustainability has partnered with Groundwork USA “at no cost to the City” to “expand community engagement” and make the program benefits “easily accessible.”
“When we are negotiating every dollar of our $4.6 billion budget, it’s important to acknowledge our departments that are leveraging our external dollars to protect all of our health of all of our citizens and revitalize all of our communities,” she continued.
The first grant of $1 million will be used to “clean up brownfield sites and provide cleanup planning and community involvement related activities for brownfield sites primarily in the South Dallas/Fair Park area for the period October 1, 2023 through September 30, 2028.”
The second grant of $500,000 will similarly be used to “inventory, characterize, assess, and conduct cleanup planning and community involvement related activities for brownfield sites primarily in the South Dallas/Fair Park area for the period October 1, 2023 through September 30, 2027.”
The Dallas Express contacted the City of Dallas for more details about the planned use of the federal funds but received no response by press time.
City cleanliness has been an important issue for residents. Relatedly, recent polling conducted by The Dallas Express found that most respondents were unhappy with the amount of trash and litter they see in their neighborhoods and throughout the city.
The results of the poll aligned with a previous City of Dallas satisfaction survey, which found that the majority of residents think the City does a “poor” job of keeping Dallas streets clean.