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E-media Kit: Federal Recovery Act Dollars Create Hundreds of Bay Area Jobs

Release Date: 10/14/2009
Contact Information: Mary Simms, 415-947-4270, , Wayne Davis (916) 322-4985 Angela Blanchette (510) 812-6263

SAN FRANCISCO -- The the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control today announced $5 million in grants and low-interest loans that will help bring nearly 500 jobs to the Bay Area and turn contaminated property into land for apartments, retail shops, day care centers and a park.

"This is a clear example of how environmental protection is also good for our economy," said Governor Schwarzenegger. "We are working hand in hand with President Obama's team to bring Recovery Act funding into California to stimulate our economy, create jobs and in this instance, breathe new life into San Francisco neighborhoods and contribute to the future of California's environment."

Funds for the revitalization work will come from the $1.8 million in federal stimulus money DTSC received from the EPA over the summer, along with money from the Department’s Revolving Loan Fund Program, which offers low-interest loans and grants to clean up contaminated sites known as “brownfields.” The Revolving Loan Fund, launched three years ago with a $3 million grant from the EPA, is overseen by DTSC in partnership with the San Francisco Redevelopmnt Agency and the city of Los Angeles. The partnership is expected to approve additional grants and loans in the near future.

“This money will help create jobs for years to come and breathe new life into neighborhoods and communities in San Francisco,” said DTSC Acting Director Maziar Movassaghi. “The cleanup of this land will spark the development of valuable new housing, retail shops, restaurants and open space.”

“Our state and local partners are turning problem properties along San Francisco's central waterfront into community assets,” said Laura Yoshii, EPA's acting Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. "These projects will deliver a direct environmental benefit. We're also very excited about how Recovery Act funding is making a difference and creating jobs in California."

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The San Francisco cleanup projects DTSC and the U.S. EPA are announcing today include:

A $1.675 million low-interest loan to clean up lead-contaminated land at 2235 Third Street. The project will create about 200 new construction jobs for two years.
The Martin Building Company of San Francisco plans to turn two former warehouse buildings on the central waterfront site into part of a complex that will include about 180 residential units with terraces and balconies, a restaurant, retail stores and a day-care center. Martin Building is seeking LEED Gold Certification for the project.

Funds for the site cleanup come from the stimulus money contained in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) that President Obama signed into law in February.

A $1.25 million low-interest loan to clean up lead-contaminated property at 178 Townsend Street. It will create about 100 new construction jobs for two years.

Martin Building plans to incorporate a 121-year-old building into a project that will feature 94 apartments, 46 parking spaces, a ground-floor restaurant and a day-care center. The project is in the South Beach neighborhood. Money for the site cleanup comes from DTSC’s Revolving Loan Fund.

A $200,000 grant to clean up land for a public park as part of the Mission Bay development project between San Francisco Bay and Interstate 280.

San Francisco’s Mission Bay development calls for the eventual construction of up to 6,000 new housing units, millions of square feet of office and retail space and a new research campus for the University of California, San Francisco.
Money for the grant to clean up the park site comes from DTSC’s Revolving Loan Fund.

Under the leadership of Governor Schwarzenegger, DTSC working with the U.S. EPA has aggressively pushed brownfield restoration as a key to generating economic growth and ensuring environmental safety. Brownfields are sites where development may be hindered by land contaminated, or believed to be contaminated, with hazardous materials or pollutants.

“There are many success stories to tell about the brownfield cleanups done by DTSC and the EPA in California,” said Movassaghi. “Because of all this hard work, so many areas of the state are now more livable, vibrant and environmentally safe.”

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Laura Yoshii, EPA Region 9 Acting Administrator