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EPA AWARDS SPECIAL SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GRANT TO ABAG, COALITION OF BUSINESS, ENVIRONMENTAL AND CIVIC GROUPS
Release Date: 4/27/2000
Contact Information: Jim Sayer, U.S. EPA, 415-744-1851, Nova Blazej, U.S. EPA, 415-744-2089
One of only 15 large grants awarded in U.S. -- funding to focus on critical regional land use and transportation issues
SAN FRANCISCO The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced a $180,000 grant to the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and a coalition of civic interests that will be used to pursue regional planning for sustainable development in the Bay region.
ABAG and the coalition which includes a diverse array of groups, from the business-backed Bay Area Council to the environmentally oriented Bay Area Transportation and Land Use Coalition will use the funding to develop alternative growth scenarios for the Bay Area to help determine better ways to plan for future development and investments in transit.
Jim Sayer, the EPA's Director of Public Affairs and Media in San Francisco, made the announcement at ABAG's general meeting today. The EPA's grant to ABAG was one of only 15 large "Sustainable Development Challenge Grants" selected from nearly 1,000 submitted nationwide. Another 12 smaller grants were also awarded.
"This funding will help continue the national cutting edge role the Bay Area has played on land use and transportation issues," Sayer said. "EPA's hope is that we can help support local efforts to deal with the public's concern about traffic and sprawl, and also highlight new ways of planning that will lead to more livable communities and a healthier environment."
The funding is part of a broader effort by the EPA's Pacific Southwest office to support more livable, sustainable communities in California, Arizona, Nevada and Hawaii. Over the past two years, the EPA has carried out more than 30 projects totaling millions of dollars in grants and thousands of hours of staff time to help communities determine and implement smarter ways to grow in the future. The projects cover many activities, from information sharing and tool development to regional planning support and watershed protection.
Among the projects the EPA is working on:
Helping to reclaim dozens of blighted brownfield sites for redevelopment in locations
from Stockton to Fruitvale (in Oakland) to East Palo Alto. Already, the EPA has invested
more than $10 million in the Pacific Southwest in brownfield assessments and cleanups.
Facilitating landscape and wetland conservation in the Central Valley by using federal
dollars to support local and regional land preservation efforts.
Helping evaluate alternative growth scenarios in Las Vegas and Merced County using
new high tech planning software the EPA helped develop.
Sponsoring a design competition for pedestrian-friendly community design in Phoenix.
Rescuing blighted cityscapes in South Central Los Angeles by supporting local efforts to
convert abandoned alleyways into greenways and community gardens.
Assisting local government efforts to inject sustainable development principles into the
economic planning process for the Imperial Valley.
Supporting a pioneering effort in Las Vegas and southern Nevada to develop a regional
planning framework for one of the fastest growing areas in the United States.
For more information about EPA's livable communities program in the Pacific Southwest, contact Sara Russell at 415/744-1029 or Nova Blazej at 415/744-2089.