News Releases from Region 09
U.S. EPA awards $2.25 million in Brownfields funding in Northern California, helping revitalize blighted properties and promote economic redevelopment
$54.3 million awarded to 221 projects nationally
SAN FRANCISCO – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that the cities of Sacramento, West Sacramento and Stockton, and the Sierra Institute for Community and Environment (Plumas County), will receive a combined $2.25 million in federal grant funds for brownfield site revitalization efforts. Alexis Strauss, EPA’s Acting Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest, announced the grants while celebrating a successful local cleanup of lead-contaminated soil. This cleanup of a 3.8-acre site in Sacramento was partially funded by a previous EPA Brownfields grant and is slated for affordable housing development.
“EPA’s Brownfields Program expands the ability of communities to recycle vacant and abandoned properties for new, productive reuses, using existing infrastructure,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “These grants leverage other public and private investments, and improve local economies through property cleanup and redevelopment.”
The 221 Brownfields grants awarded nationwide, totaling $54.3 million, will provide communities with funding to assess, clean up and redevelop underutilized properties while protecting public health and the environment.
“Brownfields projects expertly combine community needs, redevelopment and environmental protection,” said Alexis Strauss, Acting Regional Administrator for the EPA’s Pacific Southwest office. “In communities throughout Northern California, these funds are a welcome catalyst to address underutilized properties and ensure public health is protected.”
City of Sacramento - $750,000 - The City of Sacramento will receive Brownfields cleanup revolving loan funds for a project that will be available for the entire city, with priority placed on the North Sacramento Community. Much of the North Sacramento Community is in a federally-designated Housing and Urban Development Promise Zone and encompasses neighborhoods that have demonstrated the need and capacity for positive neighborhood change. The project will build on an EPA Brownfields assessment grant ($300,000) awarded last year to the city to assess properties in the North Sacramento Community.
City of West Sacramento - $300,000 – The City of West Sacramento will receive a Brownfields communitywide assessment grant to focus on the Pioneer Bluff De-Industrialization and Redevelopment Project located along the Sacramento River. This industrial area is surrounded by residential development and is primed for reuse. The city has already completed extensive infrastructure, flood control, transportation, land use and recreation planning in this area. EPA’s Brownfields grant will support environmental assessments and site-specific reuse planning to transform this area into mixed-use residential, commercial and recreational development, reconnecting the city with the river.
City of Stockton - $600,000 – The City of Stockton, in partnership with the San Joaquin County Council of Governments and the Successor Agency to the Stockton Redevelopment Agency, will receive a Brownfields coalition communitywide assessment grant. The project will support transit-oriented development by focusing on key brownfield properties in Stockton’s downtown and waterfront target areas and along transit routes in San Joaquin County connected to the target areas. The city and its partners will build public-private partnerships to develop transit-oriented, affordable housing and commercial development and bring jobs to the core of Stockton.
Sierra Institute for Community and Environment – $600,000 - The Sierra Institute for Community and Environment was selected to receive three $200,000 Brownfields cleanup grants ($600,000). The funding will be used to remediate sites within a former 28-acre lumber mill in Crescent Mills. Site redevelopment plans are in place for an integrative wood utilization campus that will create renewable energy and valuable products out of low-value biomass material removed from surrounding forests for fire control and ecosystem restoration. The campus will include a community-scale biomass-powered combined heat and power facility supported by the state of California, a wood chipping facility, and other businesses focused around wood product utilization. These enterprises will spur the local economy and create jobs lost in the area from the declining timber industry. Redevelopment of this property will greatly reduce inefficient forest biomass burning that degrades air quality and will prevent contamination on the site from entering local waterways.
The Brownfields program targets economically disadvantaged communities and provides funding and assistance to transform contaminated sites into assets that can generate jobs and spur economic growth. A study of 48 Brownfields sites found that an estimated $29 million to $97 million in additional local tax revenue was generated in a single year after cleanup. This is two to seven times more than the $12.4 million EPA contributed to the cleanup of these sites. Another study found that property values of homes near revitalized Brownfields sites increased between 5 and 15 percent following cleanup.
Communities can use Brownfields funding to leverage considerable infrastructure and other financial resources. For example, EPA’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund can be used to address the water quality aspects of brownfield sites and the assessment and construction of drinking water infrastructure on Brownfields, respectively. EPA’s Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program may also serve as a potential source of long-term, low-cost supplemental financing to fund Brownfields project development and implementation activities to address water quality aspects of Brownfields.
List of the FY 2018 Applicants Selected for Funding: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/applicants-selected-fy18-brownfields-assessment-revolving-loan-fund-and-cleanup-grants
For more on the ARC grants: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/types-brownfields-grant-funding
For more on EPA’s Brownfields Program: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields
For more on how Brownfields restoration has positively impacted local economies and the quality of life for neighboring communities: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/brownfields-success-stories