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story.lead_photo.caption Texarkana, Texas, City Council

The Environmental Protection Agency will provide Texarkana, Texas, $400,000 to clean up contaminated sites, the city announced in a news release Tuesday.

Texarkana is one of 24 communities that will receive a total of $9.3 million in supplemental funding through the EPA's Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund. The funds are going to communities that have demonstrated success in using their RLF funds to clean up and redevelop brownfield sites, according to the EPA.

A brownfield is a property whose expansion, redevelopment or reuse may be complicated by the presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant. There are estimated to be more than 450,000 brownfields in the U.S.

The funds will be used to reuse vacant and abandoned properties and turn them into community assets such as housing, recreation and open space, health facilities, social services, and commerce opportunities, the release stated.

The funds will help Texarkana and other communities "continue their progress revitalizing their local economy and improving the health and wellbeing" of residents, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said.

Recipients of EPA's Brownfields RLF funding provide low-interest loans and sub-grants to carry out cleanup activities at brownfield sites. When loans are repaid, the loan amount is returned into the fund and re-lent to other borrowers, providing an ongoing source of capital within a community.

To date, EPA's RLF grantees across the country have completed 694 cleanups and attracted approximately 42,000 jobs and $8 billion in public and private funding, the release stated.

"We are thrilled to receive this supplemental funding for our Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund," said David Orr, Texarkana Director of Planning and Community Development. "This award will provide additional loan funds to assist in the continued revitalization work especially in our downtown area. We have a stellar Brownfields team led by Daphnea Ryan that was instrumental in receiving this award for our community."

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