Contact Us


All News Releases By Date


EPA awards $1.4 million in Brownfields grants throughout Arizona

Release Date: 6/15/2004
Contact Information: Wendy L. Chavez, Press Office, (415) 947-4248

Six communities receive funding to clean, assess blighted properties

SAN FRANCISCO - - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded $1.4 million in grants throughout Arizona today to redevelop Brownfield properties.

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

"These grants will allow Arizona 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 region. "The EPA's brownfields program allows cities and towns to turn what were once stumbling blocks into building blocks."

The grants were announced yesterday 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 and new housing to new shopping opportunities and 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.

The EPA is providing the city of Phoenix $400,000 to be used for environmental site assessments at selected properties among the 425 potentially contaminated sites within 100 feet of the 13-mile Light Rail Corridor. Once the sites are cleaned up, the light rail project will bring critical public transportation benefits to the city, and remove environmental and health hazards to the neighboring communities.

Other Arizona grantees include:

  • Tucson received $200,000 to fund an assessment at a bulk oil storage facility and a bus maintenance and refueling garage in the city's Rio Nuevo District. The funds will also be used for community outreach, and if necessary, for cleanup planning and selection. The city plans to redevelop the site into a mixed-use retail and residential complex with greenspace to complement the nearby recreation of the Mission San Agustin.
  • The $200,000 grant to Glendale will allow the city to inventory and map potential and known Brownfield sites, and assess 15 to 20 properties. The project is expected to accelerate economic revitalization, create new jobs, and provide better, healthier living conditions for local residents.
  • The Gila River Indian Community will use a $200,000 EPA grant to clean up petroleum contamination from leaking underground storage tanks on the St. John Mission site in Komatke, Ariz. The site will be redeveloped as a Diabetes education and Resource Center.
  • In Yuma County , the EPA grant will be used to clean up high concentrations of lead in the soil at the Adair Park Archery Range to restore public access to the park and range, which has been closed since 2000. Reopening the park is expected to bring an economic return of $200,000 to the community annually.
  • The Naco Fire District received $200,000 to assess open land that was periodically inundated by raw sewage released from the neighboring wastewater treatment plant in Sonora, Mexico. The assessment will determine if there is any residual contamination from the releases so development can move forward.

For more information on the grant recipients, go to:

# # #