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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release November 24, 1997

             In Meeting With Citizens, Vice President Hears
                     of Efforts To Revitalize Area

DALLAS -- In a meeting with local citizens to hear about their efforts to revitalize one of the city's most distressed areas, Vice President Gore today (11/24) presented Dallas with a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce to launch the construction of a eco-business Park and International Training and Technology Center at the site of the McCommas Bluff illegal waste dump. The Vice President also unveiled the General Services Administration's (GSA's) Brownfields Redevelopment Initiative, which will assist the city of Dallas in its Brownfields revitalization efforts by identifying federal properties that may be ripe for redevelopment.

The McCommas Bluff project is a terrific example of the role that local community leadership and public-private partnerships can play in helping to bring distressed areas back to life, the Vice President said to an audience of more than 350 people at the Cummings Recreation Center in Southern Dallas. This cutting-edge project will create jobs and a viable economic center, contribute to a cleaner environment, and provide students with marketable skills. The project is expected to create up to 700 jobs.

In developing the project, the city has partnered with three educational institutions: Texas A&M University Engineering Extension Service, Paul Quinn College, and Dallas County Community College District. The city also has received assistance from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which in 1995 designated McCommas Bluff as a Brownfields redevelopment demonstration pilot.

The Vice President also unveiled today GSA's Brownfields Redevelopment Initiative. The GSA, which oversees the federal government's property holdings, will review more than 1,000 federally owned properties in selected cities across the country that may be ripe for redevelopment. The GSA has targeted 34 pilot cities -- including Dallas -- in which federal properties will be canvassed to identify candidate properties for transfer and redevelopment. The GSA and the EPA have signed a Memorandum of Agreement inaugurating this effort.

President Clinton and I are committed to working with communities to promote Brownfields redevelopment, the Vice President said. The federal government has a special special responsibility to facilitate the transfer and redevelopment of Brownfields property that falls within its possession.

The Vice President chairs the Community Empowerment Board, which oversees various initiatives designed to bring together distressed communities to develop plans for revitalization. As part of that effort, 105 communities across the nation have been targeted to receive federal aid through the Empowerment Zone/Enterprise (EZ/EC) program. The Brownfields Redevelopment Initiative builds on the EZ/EC program. The initiative represents commitments made by more than 15 federal agencies to work together with local communities to facilitate the cleanup and redevelopment of Brownfields -- idled, contaminated land often found in inner city areas.

Dallas is one of 105 communities designated under the EZ/EC program. The McCommas Bluff illegal waste dump is located within one mile of the Dallas Enterprise Community.

The McCommas Bluff eco-business project will support technology transfer, maximize the creation of new businesses, and use recyclable materials. It is one of the first such parks in the country. The International Training and Technology Center is expected to train an estimated 2,000 students. The center will blend traditional environmental science, creative research and actual demonstrations in areas of waste management, wastewater management, recycling and wetland preservation. The remaining landfill will be used as a living laboratory and training site for center participants.