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Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF): Contaminated Sites

Communities can use the CWSRF to address the water quality aspects of site assessment and cleanup of brownfields, Superfund sites, and sites of current or former aboveground or underground storage tanks. Eligible activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Excavation and disposal of underground storage tanks;
  • Constructed wetlands;
  • Excavation, removal, and disposal of contaminated soil or sediments;
  • Well abandonment;
  • Site assessments;
  • Cleanup of contaminated groundwater or surface water;
  • Environmental insurance premiums; and
  • Collection/remediation of stormwater generated at the site.

Funding Brownfield Remediation with the Clean Water State Revolving Fund
This fact sheet demonstrates how the CWSRF provides assistance to eligible recipients for the water quality aspects of brownfield site assessment and cleanup. It highlights a successful project in Indiana.

Success Stories

Former Columbus Wood Treating Plant, Indiana (Brownfield Project)

A combination of Clean Water State Revolving Fund and Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund loan funding has benefitted the City of Columbus, Indiana. A December 29, 2011 loan to the City from the Indiana Finance Authority has helped to fund petroleum remediation activities at the 1.24-acre, vacant, former site of the Columbus Wood Treating Plant, which facilitated construction of a pedestrian/cycling trail. The trail serves as interim greenspace redevelopment for the Columbus community until commercial or other redevelopment occurs in the future.

The funding mix included $1.2 million in petroleum Brownfields loan funds coupled with $600,000 in CWSRF loan funds, totaling $1.8 million in loan funding to mitigate groundwater and soil impacts associated with a long history of the plant’s operations, including coal and coke processing and wood treating/preservation. The remediation activities helped to eliminate the discharge of contaminants and protect the Flat Rock River. The combined CWSRF and Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund financial assistance for the site has leveraged additional funding to facilitate reuse including a federal Housing and Urban Development Economic Development Initiative Grant for over $300,000.

The EcoCenter at Heron’s Head Park, California (Brownfield Project)

The EcoCenter at Heron’s Head Park, located on a former abandoned brownfield site, is now a center for community youth to learn about energy efficiency, waste management, water conservation, green infrastructure, and green building. Every feature of the 1,500 square foot EcoCenter serves as a teaching tool for sustainability and green building design, emphasizing the interconnection of social, economic, and environmental issues as they relate to the history of the Bayview Hunters Point community. The EcoCenter treats its own wastewater using constructed wetlands, biological treatment, and ultraviolet sterilization lamps. In addition, it features a green roof and native landscaping, which conserve water and prevent stormwater runoff.

Redevelopment of the site into the EcoCenter was funded in part by approximately $350,000 in CWSRF funds from the California State Water Resource Control Board. In recent years, EPA’s Brownfields Program has invested over $1.7 million to continue the revitalization of the neighborhood through site assessment, cleanup, and other EPA grants. In total, EPA's investment leverages over $6.5 million in property cleanup, design and planning work which is helping to guide the multi-million dollar redevelopment of India Basin Waterfront Park located within the Bayview Hunters Point community.

Community Sustainability and Revitalization: Ecocenter at Heron’s Head Park in San Francisco
The California State Water Resource Control Board’s CWSRF is helping improve Heron's Head Park through an award of ARRA funding, furthering the Literacy for Environmental Justice’s educational mission while reducing the environmental footprint of an important community space.