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EPA awards over $7.5 million in Brownfields grants to 24 Entities in California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawai’i

Release Date: 5/10/2005
Contact Information: Margot Perez-Sullivan; 415-947-4149

SAN FRANCISCO -- Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded $7.5 million to 24 entities throughout California, Arizona, Nevada and Hawaii for assessment, redevelopment, toxic inventories and cleanups of abandoned, contaminated properties.

Nationally, the EPA awarded 302 grants totaling $75.9 million today as part of the agency’s Brownfields program, which provides funding to clean up and redevelop contaminated properties.

“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 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.

“Funding for brownfields projects will allow communities to revitalize 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 program yields positive results by bringing new life to the under used properties in many cities and towns.”

Grants in California include:

    • The El Cajon Redevelopment Agency will receive $200,000, to be used for environmental site assessments, develop cleanup plans within the central business district of the city, conduct community outreach and develop a geographic information system database of sites;
    • The city of Gardena will receive a total of $400,000, which will be used to identify potential sites to be addressed, environmental site assessments in critical city areas, support community outreach involvement activities and perform the same activities in areas with potential petroleum contamination;
    • The city of Los Angeles will receive $400,000 to clean up a contaminated former gas station in San Pedro Gateway with a history of deteriorations and at a former oil field in Rockwood Park with abandoned oil extraction wells with a history of methane and hydrogen sulfide releases;
    • The Lynwood Redevelopment Agency will receive $200,000 which will support community outreach, implement groundwater remediation systems and the installation of groundwater monitoring wells at the ten-acre K and K Furniture site, now contaminated with trichloroethylene.
    • The Sacramento County Business Environmental Resource Center will use $200,000 to assess seven target areas with vacant or underused commercial and industrial properties containing former auto repair shops, transportation operations, storage yards, gas stations and shopping centers. The Brownfields assessment will stimulate redevelopment of smaller, privately owned parcels through an outreach effort providing one-on-one consultation in areas challenged by declining housing stocks, poverty, unemployment, substance abuse, and crime.
    • The city of west Sacramento and the state’s Department of Toxic Substances Control received two grants totaling $400,000. The funds will target the Pioneer Bluff and the East-West End of West Capital Avenue areas for redevelopment. Assessment and cleanup of these sites will speed the city’s plans to redevelop these areas, adding thousands of housing units, park land and open space as well as commercial, retail and office space, which in turn is expected to create thousands of new jobs and generate millions of dollars in revenue for the city.
    • The city of Rio Dell will use $200,000 to redevelop Brownfield properties in the community. These sites are eyesores, magnets for vandalism and pose a threat of contaminant exposure especially for children. A number of properties also may threaten the water quality in the Eel River. Assessment of these brownfields properties represents the first step in re-establishing economic activity, a key factor that will help prevent future brownfields in city.
    • The Merced Redevelopment Agency will use $200,000 to conduct a site investigation and prepare a health risk assessment for a one block area of downtown that contains vacant land and older development. The area formerly housed a dry cleaning facility and a gas station, and is thought to have had significant perchloroethylene contamination and hydrocarbon pollution. Redevelopment will address human health risks that affect low-income residents, create jobs, revitalize the economy and remove environmental uncertainty.
    • The city of Santa Cruz received $1 million in a brownfields revolving loan fund. The city identified 49 brownfields sites that require monitoring. All but one of the sites are in the city’s Merged Earthquake Recovery and Reconstruction Redevelopment Project Area and most sites are in census tracts where the poverty rate is 27 percent. The revolving loan fund grant represents an opportunity to address properties otherwise left untouched because of financial hurdles and the environmental regulatory hurdles that need to be overcome.
    • San Pablo’s East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation will use $200,000 for site cleanup, community planning, outreach and redevelopment of the city’s under-used and abandoned former industrial sites. Once developed, the site will include 74 affordable homes and 86 affordable rental units.
    • The city of East Palo Alto will use $200,000 to assess the county’s former dump, Cooley’s Landing. Once the site is assessed, cleaned up and restored, it will be opened to the public as a recreational park with historical displays.
    • Palo Alto’s BRIDGE Housing Corporation will use $200,000 to cleanup and redevelop a former city eyesore to alleviate the city’s housing crisis. BRIDGE Housing will build 67 affordable housing units for low-income and/or fixed-income seniors.
    • The city of Emeryville was awarded two grants totaling $400,000. The city plans to conduct hazardous substances and petroleum assessments in the federally designated “Enterprise Zone” to redevelop the area with housing and services.
    • North Richmond Community Housing Development Corporation was awarded three grants totaling $600,000. Cleanup of the Oshi, Endo, and Sakai Nursery sites in the Pullman Park Plaza area will remove human and environmental hazards and allow redevelopment in the area with a mix of rental and owner occupied affordable housing.
    • The city of Petaluma will use $200,000 to create an inventory of potentially contaminated sites and conduct community outreach. A host of industrial activities have been identified as potentially impacting the environment in this historic river town; brownfields redevelopment will attract jobs, and eliminate adverse physical and economic conditions.
    • Contra Costa County Redevelopment Agency was awarded two grants totaling $200,000. The grant funds will be used to conduct hazardous substance assessments and petroleum assessments of the Bennett’s Marina waterfront site in Rodeo to develop cleanup plans and conduct community outreach activities. The Agency hopes to revitalize the waterfront area, boost the local economy and create jobs.
    • West Contra Costa Unified School District of Hercules will use $199,420 to cleanup a former wastewater treatment plant, ideal for a school facility. The cleanup and redevelopment of the site will remove potential threats to human health, address the school system’s overcrowding problem and create open space and recreational opportunities to the community.
Grants in Arizona include:
    • 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.
    • 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 city of South Tucson will use $200,000 to assess potential brownfields sites along the city’s commercial corridor for future cleanup to promote development and business growth.
Grants in Nevada include:
    • The Nevada Division of Environmental Protection will use $350,000 for brownfields assessment and community outreach activities. Officials will perform a site assessment in Storey County, which will include sampling soil and waste, characterizing contamination and developing cleanup plans for the Gooseberry Mine site, a former gold and silver mine. The mine’s redevelopment is part of a larger effort to diversify its economic base, create jobs and rejuvenate the local economy.
    • The North Las Vegas Redevelopment Agency will use $200,000 to create an inventory and prioritization of sites, along with environmental assessments and cleanup plans in the city’s two redevelopment areas. Funds will also be used to conduct community outreach. The assessments will help the city rehabilitate properties, create jobs and revitalize the economy.
    • Nye County was awarded two grants totaling $400,000 to complete a brownfields inventory and perform site assessments in at least four of the six target communities. Funds will also be used for cleanup and reuse planning, land use planning, institutional controls and community outreach activities. Successful brownfields revival in any of the target communities will boost the local economy and encourage other communities to pursue brownfields redevelopment.
Grants in Hawai’i include:
    • The Hawai’i Department of Land and Natural Resources will use $400,000 to conduct a site investigation and prepare a health risk assessment for a 45-acre parcel in the Sand Island industrial area. The area was formerly owned by the federal government and the state plans to turn it into an industrial park.
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, go to: