The Economic Development Administration (EDA) Reauthorization Act of 2004 (P. L. 108-373) included a requirement that GAO evaluate grants made by EDA for the economic development of brownfield sites. More than 450,000 brownfield sites--properties where redevelopment or reuse may be complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination--are scattered across the United States. This report discusses specifics of grants made by EDA at brownfields sites, including (1) the types, extent, and amount of EDA funds used for remediation activities; (2) the environmental standards and agencies involved; and (3) the economic development activities, standards, and impact.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Commerce||The Secretary of Commerce should direct EDA to implement a standard procedure that would require regional offices to add a special condition to grants for brownfield sites where remediation of hazardous substances is required stipulating that the grant recipient provide evidence that remediation has been conducted in accordance with all applicable federal, state, and local regulations--including those not mentioned in the standard EDA grant forms.|
|Department of Commerce||The Secretary of Commerce should direct EDA to ensure that regional staff verify estimated jobs and private-sector investment for proposed projects by following existing guidelines or creating new ones, as necessary.|