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EPA awards $800,000 in Brownfields grants to Arizona

Release Date: 5/10/2005
Contact Information: Wendy L. Chavez, (415) 947-4248,

SAN FRANCISCO -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today awarded $400,000 to the city of Tucson, $200,000 to the city of South Tucson, and $200,000 to the Gila River Indian Community to fund Brownfields projects.

As part of the agency's Brownfields program, the EPA today awarded 302 grants nationally -- totaling $75.9 million -- to fund cleanup and redevelopment at contaminated properties.

"Funding for brownfields projects will allow communities to revitalize properties that have been sitting idle due to real or even perceived contamination far too long," said Wayne Nastri, regional administrator of the EPA's Pacific Southwest region. "The program yields positive results by bringing new life to the under used properties in many cities and towns communities."

"The Brownfields Program puts both property and people back to work," EPA Administrator Steve Johnson said. "These grants will help communities across America convert eyesores into engines of economic rebirth."

The city of Tucson will use $400,000 to assess Brownfields properties, including former gas stations, dry cleaners, auto repair shops, abandoned warehouses and railroad facilities for future use as mixed-use developments, parks or open space and alternative transportation.

Nearly 21 percent of the city of South Tucson's total land area is occupied by potential Brownfields sites, and include salvage yards, vacant lots, tire shops, gas stations and other auto-related sites. The city will use the $200,000 to assess the sites along the commercial corridor for future cleanup to promote development and business growth.

The Gila River Indian Community will use $200,000 to survey soil vapor levels, sample soil borings and install eight groundwater monitoring wells to assess the perchlorate contamination found at the former Aero Dyne Corporation site located at one of the tribe's industrial parks. Assessment and cleanup will help protect residents from potential health risks posed by the contamination, and lead to redevelopment and much-needed economic opportunities for the community.

The Brownfields program promotes redevelopment of America's estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites. Since its inception in 1995, the program has awarded 709 assessment grants totaling over $190 million, 189 revolving loan fund grants worth more than $165 million, and $26.8 million for 150 cleanup grants.

In addition to facilitating industrial and commercial redevelopment, Brownfields projects have converted industrial waterfronts to river-front parks, landfills to golf courses, rail corridors to recreational trails, and gas station sites to housing. The program has led to more than $7 billion in public and private investment in cleanup and redevelopment, helped create more than 31,000 jobs, and resulted in the assessment of more than 5,100 properties.

For more information on the grant recipients and projects, go to: