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EPA AWARDS HUMBOLDT COUNTY $200,000 FOR BROWNFIELDS REDEVELOPMENT
Release Date: 5/20/2002
Contact Information: Leo Kay, Press Office, 415/947-4306, Kirk Girard, Humboldt County, 707/268-3735
Grant one of 38 announced nationwide
SAN FRANCISCO The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded Humboldt County, Calif. a $200,000 grant today that will allow local officials to clean up and revitalize underused, abandoned "brownfields."
Humboldt County officials will use the grant to performenvironmental assessments in a 256- acre area of the Samoa Peninsula to determine the nature and extent of contamination resulting from former industrial activity. The work will be performed as part of an overall effort to redevelop properties on the peninsula that sit idle due to real or perceived contamination.
"This funding will allow Humboldt County officials to assess abandoned properties on the Samoa Peninsula in their quest to transition from a longtime timber and fishing-based economy to one that supports new small business development," said EPA Regional Administrator Wayne Nastri. "We hope this grant helps give a boost to an area where redevelopment has been stymied by real or perceived contamination."
Today's grant was one of 38 given nationwide with funding totalling $7.95 million that fund the assessment of brownfields properties. The assessment pilots empower states, cities, towns, counties and tribes to work together to assess and encourage cleanup of brownfields properties in order to promote their sustainable reuse. In addition, 42 communities received supplemental funding totaling $6.65 million to continue or expand their existing brownfields program.
Since its inception, the EPA=s Brownfields Program has contributed over $280 million in grants to spur assessment, cleanup and redevelopment at sites throughout the country. To date, every federal dollar spent on Brownfields has leveraged over twice that amount in private investment. The EPA=s Brownfields Program has leveraged over $4 billion in public and private investments that have turned abandoned industrial properties into thriving economic centers, useful recreational areas and beneficial open spaces.
"Reclaiming America=s brownfields properties is an effective way to help revitalize and reinvigorate our nation=s blighted neighborhoods while at the same time preventing urban sprawl," said EPA Administrator Christie Whitman. "Brownfields reclamation is one of the great environmental success stories of the past decade."
Whitman continued. "But the story is hardly over. EPA and its partners in every state of the union are ready to write the next chapter in the brownfields story. Given the commitment of this Administration, I can guarantee you that story will have a very happy ending."
Earlier this year, President Bush signed bipartisan legislation that will encourage the cleanup and redevelopment of old industrial properties cleaning up our environment, creating jobs and protecting small businesses from frivolous lawsuits. In addition, the President's FY 03 budget request doubled the funds available through the EPA in FY 02 -- from $98 million to $200 million -- to help states and communities around the country clean up and revitalize brownfields sites.
For further information about the EPA=s Brownfields Program go to