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News Releases from Region 09

U.S. EPA Awards Nearly $2.7 Million to Assess and Clean Up Contamination in Arizona, California and Nevada

Contact Information: 
Michele Huitric (huitric.michele@epa.gov)

SAN FRANCISCO – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that projects in Arizona, California and Nevada will receive a combined $2,692,000 in federal funds to assess and clean up historically contaminated properties, also known as brownfields, for reuse and development. Awarded through the Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund and Cleanup (ARC) grant program, these funds are part of $55.2 million being invested in 131 communities across the country.

“EPA is committed to helping communities safely clean up abandoned and contaminated sites and transform them into assets,” said Alexis Strauss, EPA’s Acting Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “These projects will provide valuable economic support to these communities while protecting public health and the environment.”

ARC grants can be used to either assess a brownfield site (including inventory work and cleanup planning) or to conduct cleanup activities. This helps communities to recycle vacant and abandoned properties for new, productive reuses.

The Arizona, California and Nevada recipients are:

Gila County Industrial Development Authority (Ariz.) - $400,000 Assessment Grant: The Industrial Development Authority (IDA) will conduct 50 assessments at former industrial and commercial properties in the rural mining towns of Globe, Miami, and Claypool. The assessments, which will occur along 6 miles of US 60, will focus on commercial properties that can provide economic redevelopment opportunities. The IDA intends for the assessments to complement existing grassroots efforts set forth by the community.

Association of Bay Area Governments (Cities of Oakland, San Leandro, Hayward and Alameda County, Calif.) - $550,000 Assessment Grant:  The Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) will support brownfield assessments in Oakland, San Leandro, Hayward and the Ashland and Cherryland neighborhoods of Alameda County.  The coalition will focus efforts on a 15-mile corridor of downtowns and mixed-use neighborhoods. These areas were prioritized because they have adopted plans for sustainable, location-efficient redevelopment that also support the Bay Area's regional vision for an equitable, low-carbon future.

City of Richmond (Calif.) - $400,000 Assessment Grant: The City of Richmond will conduct brownfields assessments in five neighborhoods: Coronado, Santa Fe, Pullman, Iron Triangle, and Belding Woods. These neighborhoods, which have been identified as underserved, are bisected by railroads and are bordered to the southwest by Interstate 580. The city will also use the grant to plan for redevelopment projects, including affordable housing and recreational facilities.

Sonoma County Community Development Commission (Calif.) - $392,000 Assessment Grant: The Sonoma County Community Development Commission will conduct up to 23 environmental site assessments. The assessments, which are focused on petroleum and hazardous substances, will target the Roseland neighborhood in Santa Rosa. Assessments completed under this grant will help to expand an ongoing mixed-use revitalization project in the community and will support new transit investments to reduce air pollution.

City of Mt. Shasta (Calif.) - $200,000 Cleanup Grant: The City of Mt. Shasta will clean up the eight-acre site of a former lumber mill. The mill, which operated from the 1900s until the late 1960s, is contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons. Cleanup will allow the development of the Landing Commercial Park, which includes plans for commercial, industrial, and recreational space, an RV Park, and a community amphitheater.

Nevada City (Calif.) - $200,000 Cleanup Grant: The city will clean up the Providence Mine, which was a productive gold mine for 68 years but is now abandoned. The mine is contaminated with metals, including mercury, arsenic, and cadmium. Cleanup of this site will allow the city to expand a recreational trail that is easily accessible from their downtown area and will reduce the community’s exposure to contaminated soil.

City of Henderson (Nev.) - $550,000 Assessment Grant: The City of Henderson will use the grant to conduct assessments along an 8-mile segment of the Boulder Highway Corridor (State Route 582), a key gateway between Las Vegas, Henderson, the Hoover Dam and Boulder City. The Boulder Highway has a long history of industrial and auto-related uses, including dealerships, auto-body shops and gas stations. Many properties along the highway are now abandoned and redevelopment is hampered by the potential presence of contamination. The grant will help the city implement the Southern Nevada Strong Regional Plan, which seeks to revitalize the Boulder Highway into an attractive, thriving, and functional corridor.

These grants advance EPA’s broader commitment to coordinating federal investments to help environmentally overburdened, underserved, and economically distressed communities address local priorities. Aligning federal resources allows agencies to better meet communities’ needs and communities to more effectively reap the benefits of collaborative investments. ARC grantees demonstrate a high level of preparedness to undertake specific projects, as they have firm commitments of leveraged funds to move projects forward.

There are an estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites in America.  Since the inception of the EPA’s Brownfields Program in 1995, cumulative brownfields program investments have leveraged more than $20 billion from a variety of public and private sources for cleanup and redevelopment activities. This equates to an average of $17.79 leveraged per EPA brownfields dollar expended. These investments have resulted in nearly 109,000 jobs nationwide. EPA’s Brownfields Program empowers states, communities and other stakeholders to work together to prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse brownfields sites.

More on ARC grants: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/types-brownfields-grant-funding

More on EPA’s Brownfields Program: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields

More on successful Brownfields stories: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/brownfields-success-stories

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