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Release Date: 3/25/1996
Contact Information: Lois Grunwald, U.S. EPA, (415) 744-1588

    (San Francisco) -- In a presentation to Mayor Nora Davis, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) today awarded the city of Emeryville a $200,000 grant to help fund the redevelopment of industrial sites, known as brownfields. Emeryville is one of 40 cities nationwide that U.S. EPA has selected to participate in the pilot redevelopment project. The city will receive the funding during a two-year period and will be able to use the funding to revitalize contaminated properties and return them to thriving, productive use.

     "I am pleased to present this grant to the city of Emeryville to encourage the cleanup of contaminated industrial land and its return to productive community use," said Elliott  P. Laws, U.S. EPA's assistant administrator for Solid Waste and Emergency Response.  "We firmly believe that environmental cleanup can bring life and strength to a community through jobs, an enhanced tax base, and vision for the community's future. I thank Emeryville for their leadership and look forward to our parternship."

     "For many years, the Emeryville community has been successful in redeveloping brownfields, creating 5,000 jobs and 750 housing units," said Mayor Nora Davis. "The U.S. EPA grant allows us to proactively and aggressively pursue additional redevelopment to serve as a catalyst in and model for the East Bay. We applaud U.S. EPA's vision and leadership in sponsoring such projects."
     In Emeryville, the grant will be used to organize the existing soil and groundwater data throughout the city's industrial area; conduct soil and groundwater sampling to fill in the gaps in the existing data; develop an information system to show environmental, economic, land use and zoning information which will enable the community, the city and potential developers to better understand different development options; establish a broad-based community task force to give the community an active voice in brownfields redevelopment decisions; and prepare an overall risk assessment.

     Under these pilots, the community and developers will work together to restore abandoned sites, thereby creating new jobs and economic growth, increasing property values and stimulating tax revenues. All of the national pilots will feature cooperative efforts between diverse community groups, investors, leanders, developers, regulators and other interested parties.

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