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U.S. EPA awards $200,000 to Contra Costa County for brownfield project

Release Date: 3/26/2004
Contact Information: Laura Gentile ,415/947-4227 (

Money will be used to help revitalize the Rodeo waterfront

SAN FRANCISCO -- As a first step toward revitalizing the town’s waterfront, tomorrow the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will award $200,000 to the Contra Costa County Redevelopment Agency to evaluate environmental contamination in Rodeo.

The EPA's project manager for the site, Carolyn Douglas, will present the grant to Supervisor Gayle B. Uilkema of the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors at its Saturday morning meeting at 10 am at the Rodeo Senior Center Building at 189 Parker Ave.

The money will be used to investigate hazardous waste and petroleum contamination at the waterfront. The contamination may have been caused by boating and industrial activities in the past.

"The Brownfields law gives communities the tools they need to clean up old properties and return them to productive use," said Keith Takata, director of the Superfund program for EPA's Pacific Southwest region. " This funding will help Rodeo assess the contamination at the waterfront and restore this area into a new community asset."

"The Rodeo waterfront was once one of the premier fishing and boating locations in the Bay Area, providing a strong local economy and community gathering place," said Uilkema. "The EPA’s funding will help Rodeo and Contra Costa County revitalize the waterfront and showcase a sustainable reuse of a brownfield site."

Brownfields are abandoned, idled or underused properties with a real or perceived risk from environmental contamination. In the early 1990s, the problems associated with blighted commercial and industrial properties gained national attention, with more than 600,000 properties identified as abandoned or underused due to the suspicion of hazardous substance contamination.

The EPA responded by creating a locally based program that encourages strong public-private partnerships and promotes creative ways to turn blighted land into productive property.