News Releases from Region 09
U.S. EPA Announces $1.4 Million in Brownfields Grants to Promote Economic Redevelopment in Southern California Communities
More than $5.1 million to be awarded statewide
LOS ANGELES – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that the City of Los Angeles, the City of Brea, the California High Speed Rail Authority, and the Imperial County Transportation Commission will receive a total of $1.4 million in federal grant funds for brownfield site revitalization efforts. These grants are part of the $56.8 million awarded nationally to 172 recipients to assess and clean up historically contaminated properties, also known as brownfields, to help local governments redevelop vacant and unused properties, transforming communities and local economies.
“EPA is committed to working with communities to redevelop Brownfields sites which have plagued their neighborhoods. EPA’s Assessment and Cleanup grants target communities that are economically disadvantaged and include places where environmental cleanup and new jobs are most needed," said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. "These grants leverage considerable infrastructure and other investments, improving local economies and creating an environment where jobs can grow. I am very pleased the President’s budget recognizes the importance of these grants by providing continued funding for this important program.”
The City of Los Angeles will receive a $300,000 EPA Brownfields grant to focus on property assessments in three priority redevelopment areas: the portion of the Los Angeles River known as the “L.A. River Works Alternative with Restoration Benefits and Opportunities for Revitalization” study area that seeks to restore the L.A. River and create equitable access for all Angelenos to park space and trails; the federally-designated Los Angeles Promise Zone, which encompasses the communities of Hollywood, East Hollywood, Koreatown, Pico Union and Westlake; and the South Los Angeles Transit Empowerment Zone, known as “SLATE-Z,” also a federally-designated Promise Zone focused on improving economic opportunity. Collectively, the city will use EPA grant funding to support locally-driven solutions for jobs growth, community building and environmental protection by revitalizing underutilized brownfield properties in Los Angeles communities.
“Everyone should have access to public spaces where people can gather together without worrying about pollution,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “This investment is an important step in making our communities cleaner and safer for all Angelenos.”
The City of Brea will use its $200,000 grant to focus on a 1.3-mile stretch of land adjacent to an active railroad right-of-way that eventually will form the West End Segment of the citywide ‘Tracks at Brea’ multi-use trail. The Tracks at Brea "rails-to-trails" project is transforming an abandoned railroad right-of-way and other city-owned properties into a 50-acre community green space and trail for pedestrians and bicyclists. This key open space infrastructure provides alternate transportation and offers fitness and recreational opportunities to the community while helping address contamination caused by over 100 years of railroad activity. The West End Segment will make this active transportation route five miles long and connect directly to the neighboring City of La Habra. It also will complete the City of Brea's portion of the 66-mile Orange County Trail loop.
EPA’s $600,000 Brownfields grant award to the California High Speed Rail Authority and their partners – the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Los Angeles, San Diego and San Luis Obispo Rail Corridor Agency – will support brownfield assessments in a one-mile area around the Los Angeles Union Station. The focus area includes the Civic Center, Little Tokyo, Arts District, Chinatown, Aliso Village and Mission Junction neighborhoods. EPA funding will be used to support community engagement and conduct environmental assessments to determine next steps for property cleanup and reuse. The redevelopment of these brownfield properties will boost local businesses, reduce blight and strengthen the sense of community in these neighborhoods.
The Imperial County Transportation Commission (ICTC) will use EPA’s $300,000 Brownfield assessment grant to support environmental assessments in communities along ICTC’s transit routes, with specific emphasis on the 13-mile Brawley Gold Line Transit Route. The grant will support property reuse and redevelopment. Along the Gold Line’s route, this revitalization will increase ridership, employment opportunities, local tax revenue and access to goods and services, while decreasing total vehicle miles traveled and improving the region’s air quality.
Overview of the funds being announced today:
- $25 million to communities who are receiving assessment and cleanup funding for the first time
- $17.5 million of the assessment and cleanup funding will benefit small and rural communities with populations less than 10,000
- Recipients will each receive approximately $200,000 - $600,000 in funding to work on individual sites or several sites within their community
- These funds will provide communities with resources necessary to determine the extent of site contamination, remove environmental uncertainties and clean up contaminated properties where needed.
Studies have shown that residential property values near brownfields sites that are cleaned up increased between 5 and 15.2% within a 1.24-mile radius of that site. A study analyzing data near 48 brownfield sites shows that an estimated $29 to $97 million in additional tax revenue was generated for local governments in a single year after cleanup. This is two to seven times more than the $12.4 million EPA contributed to those brownfields.
As of May 2017, more than 124,759 jobs and $24 billion of public and private funding has been leveraged as a result of assessment grants and other EPA Brownfields grants. On average, $16.11 was leveraged for each EPA Brownfields dollar and 8.5 jobs leveraged per $100,000 of EPA Brownfields funds expended on assessment, cleanup, and revolving loan fund cooperative agreements.
View the list of the FY 2017 applicants selected for funding here: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/brownfields-list-fy17-grants-selected-funding
More on EPA’s Brownfields program: https://epa.gov/brownfields
More on successful Brownfields stories: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/brownfields-success-stories
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