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U.S. EPA Awards City of Brea $200,000 Brownfields Grant to Transform Former Railroad Tracks into Greenspace

Release Date: 05/08/2013
Contact Information: Nahal Mogharabi, 213-24-1815,

More than $62.5 million awarded nationally

LOS ANGELES – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today awarded a $200,000 hazardous substances cleanup grant to the City of Brea, Calif., as part of the EPA’s Brownfields Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup (ARC) Program. This year, the program awarded $62.5 million nationally to more than 240 recipients.

“These grants will go a long way to bring areas in Brea back into productive reuse while involving community members in the process,” said Jared Blumenfeld EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “EPA is pleased to fund these local projects that will revitalize neighborhoods, spur economic activity, and help address contamination caused by over 100 years of railroad activity."

The City of Brea’s $200,000 hazardous substance grant will be used to clean up and transform the former railroad properties located between State College Boulevard and Birch Street. The former railroad right-of-way is made up of six segments acquired at different times. One segment was previously used for more than 100 years by railroad companies. The site is contaminated with arsenic and comingled hydrocarbons. Grant funds also will be used to oversee the cleanup and support community outreach activities. Once the cleanup is completed, the property will be transformed into the “Tracks of Brea,” a three mile corridor of open space walking and bike trails.

Additionally, EPA today awarded the City of Grass Valley (Calif.), and the Yuba River Charter School (Calif.) hazardous substance and petroleum cleanup grants to address contamination.

Nationally, 240 recipients have been recommended to receive $62.5 million in grants. These new investments, funded by EPA’s ARC grants, provide communities with funding necessary to assess, cleanup and redevelop contaminated properties, boost local economies and leverage jobs while protecting public health and the environment.

These Brownfields grants target under-served and economically disadvantaged neighborhoods – places where environmental cleanups and new jobs are most needed. Approximately $29.5 million are going to communities that have been impacted by plant closures. Other selected recipients include tribes and communities in 45 states across the country, and nearly half of the grantees this year are new recipients.

There are an estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated sites in the United States. More than 20,000 properties have been assessed, and more than 850 properties have been cleaned up. EPA’s Brownfields investments have also leveraged more than $19 billion in overall cleanup and redevelopment funding from public and private sources. On average $17.79 is leveraged for every EPA Brownfields grant dollar spent. These investments resulted in approximately 87,000 jobs nationwide. When Brownfields are addressed, nearby property values can increase 2-3 percent.

A 2011 pilot study indicated Brownfields site redevelopment increases location efficiency, which means that residents live closer to where they work and play reducing their commute times and greenhouse gas emissions. EPA’s preliminary research has also shown that redeveloping Brownfield sites results in an efficient reuse of existing infrastructure and decreasing instances of stormwater runoff. These projects can have a positive impact on community revitalization by leveraging jobs, producing clean energy, and providing recreation opportunities for surrounding neighborhoods.

More information on Brownfields grants by state:

More information on EPA’s Brownfields:
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