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U.S. EPA awards $3.6 million in brownfields grants throughout Bay Area

Release Date: 6/15/2004
Contact Information: Laura Gentile ( - 415/947-4227 (desk) or 415/760-9161 (cell)

Nine communities receive funding to clean, assess blighted properties

SAN FRANCISCO -- Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded $3.6 million in grant funding to nine communities in the Bay Area to redevelop brownfields properties.

The EPA awarded grant funding to San Francisco, Oakland, Emeryville, Richmond, San Jose, Livermore, San Pablo, Newark and Petaluma. The amount of money awarded to each community and project specifics are included at the end of this press release.

Nationally, today marks the largest brownfields funding announcement in the agency's history. The EPA is awarding $75.4 million to 265 recipients nationwide.

"This grant will allow Bay Area communities to continue their momentum in revitalizing properties that have been sitting idle due to real or even perceived contamination," said Wayne Nastri, administrator of the EPA's Pacific Southwest office. "The EPA's brownfields program allows cities and towns to turn what once were stumbling blocks into building blocks."

The grants were announced today by EPA Administrator Mike Leavitt at the site of a former metal foundry in Milwaukee. The abandoned site is being redeveloped as a light-industry business park.

"Brownfields sites like this are a blight on thousands of cities, towns and rural areas across the country," Leavitt said. "We're helping turn these eyesores into opportunities, bringing new life to communities and cities, everything from new jobs in new housing to new shopping opportunities in new recreational facilities."

The brownfields program encourages redevelopment of America's estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites. Since the beginning of the brownfields program, the EPA has awarded 554 assessment grants totaling over $150 million, 171 revolving loan fund grants totaling over $145 million, and 66 cleanup grants totaling $11.4 million. The EPA's brownfields assistance has leveraged more than $5.8 billion in private investment, helped create more than 27,000 jobs and resulted in the assessment of more than 4,500 properties.

* San Francisco -- The San Francisco Redevelopment Agency received $400,000 to fund an assessment of four sites in the Western addition that are slated for redevelopment as affordable housing units and open space. The grant will also be used to clean up a former commercial site located at Fillmore and Eddy Streets. The site will be redeveloped into a jazz club, restaurant and office space.

* Oakland -- The Oakland Housing Authority received $600,000 to clean up contamination at three sites in East Oakland, part of a 19-acre affordable housing development. The sites include a former iron and metal company and a former cannery.

* Richmond -- The Richmond Redevelopment Agency received $1,000,000 for a Brownfields revolving loan fund grant, which will be used to provide funding for various cleanup activities, such as a 14-acre former tank farm and warehouse. The Community Housing Development Corporation received $200,000 to clean up petroleum contamination at the site of a former gas station. The site will be redeveloped as affordable housing.

* Newark -- The Ohlone Community College received $200,000 to clean up contamination on an 82-acre property in Newark that has been used for agricultural purposes since the 1930s. This side will be redeveloped as a new community college campus center.

* Petaluma -- The city received $200,000 to assess petroleum contamination, which has been detected in the groundwater, at two sites in the city.

* Emeryville -- The city received $200,000 to clean up petroleum contamination at a former industrial site, which will be redeveloped as a park.

* Livermore -- The Livermore Redevelopment Agency will receive $400,000 to assess several sites in downtown Livermore.

* San Jose -- The city received $200,000 to inventory and rank Brownfield properties identified by the city. Funds will also be used to expand the city's open space and to conduct community outreach activities.

* San Pablo -- The East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation received $200,000 to clean up petroleum contamination at the site of a 2.6-acre trucking facility. The site will be used for affordable housing.

For more information on the grant recipients, go to: