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Once blighted area redeveloped into “green” campus: U.S. EPA, college president, Lt. Gov. dedicate new community college campus

Release Date: 01/31/2008
Contact Information: Wendy Chavez, 415/760-5422,

SAN FRANCISCO –U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator Wayne Nastri today joined Ohlone Community College District President Douglas Treadway and Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi to dedicate the Bay Area’s newest community college campus in Newark, Calif.

Ohlone College Newark Center for Health Sciences and Technology, the first community college in the United States designed to achieve the Platinum-level certification for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, officially opened its doors to 3,000 students on Jan. 28.

The EPA awarded a $200,000 Brownfields cleanup grant to the Ohlone Community College District in 2004 to clean up a 31-acre area of the then-future campus contaminated with the pesticide toxaphene.

“The EPA's Brownfields program helped jump start the process toward revitalizing this land to make it the community asset it is today,” said Nastri. “This project is an outstanding example of how federal and state programs can be brought together to turn pockets of land in our urban centers into usable, sustainable, green assets in our cities.”

The property had formerly been used as agricultural land dating back to the 1930s. The grant helped Ohlone College clean up the site and ready it for development. The California Department of Toxic Substances Control oversaw the removal and cleanup of 34,100 cubic yards of contaminated soil where the campus exists today.

The Platinum-level Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating is a national standard for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings that are economically profitable, environmentally friendly, healthy and productive places to work. LEED standards were developed by members of the U.S. Green Building Council, made up of building owners, real estate developers, facility managers, architects, designers, engineers, general contractors, subcontractors, product and building system manufacturers and government agencies. The EPA became a U.S. Green Building Council member in 2001.

The Brownfield’s program encourages redevelopment of America's estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites. Since the beginning of the program, the EPA has awarded 1,067 assessment grants totaling more than $262 million, 217 revolving loan fund grants totaling more than $201.7 million, and 336 cleanup grants totaling $61.3 million.

For more information on the EPA’s Brownfields program, visit: