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EPA: $850,000 in Grants for Contaminated Land Cleanup, Economic Development in Idaho

Release Date: 05/08/2009
Contact Information: Sylvia Kawabata, EPA/Seattle 206-553-1078,; Mark MacIntyre, EPA/Seattle 206-553-7302,

Grant amount bolstered by American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds

[Boise, Idaho – May 8, 2009] U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson announced today the availability of an estimated $850,000 in grants bolstered by funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to help communities in Idaho’s Bonner and Custer counties clean up sites known as “brownfields” which may be contaminated by hazardous chemicals or pollutants. The grants, which include $650,000 from the Recovery Act and $200,000 from the EPA brownfields general program funding, help revitalize former industrial and commercial sites, turning them from problem properties to productive community use.

“Cleaning and reusing contaminated properties provides the catalyst to improving the lives of residents living in or near brownfields communities,” said EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. “A revitalized brownfields site reduces threats to human health and the environment, creates green jobs, promotes community involvement, and attracts investment in local neighborhoods.”

“This Brownfields funding will help make redevelopment a reality in Bonner and Custer Counties,” said Michelle Pirzadeh, acting EPA Regional Administrator in Seattle, Washington. “We’re excited to join with our public and private partners to revitalize blighted properties, create more green jobs and protect public health in Idaho.”

The applicant selected to receive Recovery Act funds is:

Idaho Department of Environmental Quality - $650,000 - Assessment Grant
These community-wide grant funds ($480,000 Hazardous Substance Assessment and $170,000 Petroleum Assessment) will be used to perform Phase I and II environmental site assessments for hazardous contamination, and to conduct soil, groundwater and surface water sampling, all aimed at supporting redevelopment along a two mile stretch of Lake Pend Oreille shoreline. Lake Pend Oreille is one of the largest inland lakes in North America and the largest natural lake in Idaho. The communities of Ponderay, Sandpoint, Kootenai and Bonner County have formed a coalition to undertake the project.

The applicant selected to receive brownfields general program funds is:

Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation - $200,000 - Cleanup Grant
These brownfields (hazardous substances) cleanup grant funds will be used to clean up the Skylark Mine in the historic Bayhorse Mining District of Custer County. The 34.4-acre site was formerly used for mining and smelting and is contaminated with arsenic and metals from mining in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Grant funds also will be used to conduct a historical assessment of the site and support community involvement activities.

The grants will help to assess, cleanup and redevelop abandoned, contaminated properties known as brownfields. Brownfields are sites where expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. In addition, the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act of 2002 expanded the definition of a brownfield to include mine-scarred lands or sites contaminated by petroleum or the manufacture of illegal drugs. Grant recipients are selected through a national competition. The Brownfields Program encourages development of America's estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites.

President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 on February 17, 2009, and has directed that the Recovery Act be implemented with unprecedented transparency and accountability. To that end, the American people can see how every dollar is being invested at

More information on brownfields cleanup revolving loan fund pilots and grants and other brownfields activities under the Recovery Act:

Additional information on the EPA Region 10 brownfields recipients and their projects is available at: