WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will award 147 communities with Brownfields grants to protect public health and the environment, according to a press release.

The 243 grants total $54.3 million, noted the release. Each recipient will receive about $200,000 to $600,000 to “clean up and redevelop contaminated properties, boost local economies and leverage jobs.”

Community leaders and their partners will use the grants with public-private investments, stated the release.

“These communities have demonstrated a plan to leverage their grants and partnerships to achieve economic and environmental revitalization to meet their needs for jobs,” said Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, in the release.

“These critical EPA resources are going into communities with populations ranging from 89 to 1.4 million, and more than half under 100,000,” added Stanislaus in the release. “The grants will help transform brownfield sites, such as former manufacturing and mill sites, into productive end uses which directly benefit community residents and create opportunities including increased housing options, recreational spaces and jobs.”

Recipients selected for the monies include Palatka, Florida; San Antonio, Texas; Columbus, Indiana, the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe in South Dakota; the Camden Redevelopment Agency in New Jersey; and others, reported the release. EPA’s Brownfields Program has awarded more than $22 billion since its inception in 1995.

Click here to read the entire release.