City of Evans, Colorado to receive $500,000 to advance environmental assessments and property cleanups along US85 corridor
City among 265 communities nationwide to receive Brownfields Cleanup, Assessment and Revolving Loan Fund Grants to help build a better America while advancing environmental justice
Evans, Colo. – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing the City of Evans, Colorado will receive a $500,000 Brownfields assessment grant to advance the cleanup and revitalization of properties at priority sites along a 1.5-mile stretch of the US85 Corridor, beginning at the South Platte River and ending at Highway 34. Priority sites will include several car repair and sales lots and sites previously used for oil and gas equipment storage, fracking fluid creation and disposal, rig cleaning, and equipment manufacturing.
Using the community-wide Brownfields assessment grant funds, the City of Evans will conduct 25 environmental site assessments and prepare five cleanup plans at properties targeted for redevelopment. These site assessments will examine current and historical uses of properties, and sample soil, water, air and building materials, to evaluate potential contamination, determine cleanup options, and initiate reuse planning. The City will also use the grant funds to conduct meetings, prepare a community engagement plan, and host two multi-day community workshops.
“With this funding, the City of Evans can begin to clean up and revitalize historic agricultural and industrial properties to bring forth new economic opportunities and create valuable green space,” said EPA Regional Administrator KC Becker. “I applaud the City for prioritizing cleanups for the benefit of its most overburdened and vulnerable.”
“This award will provide valuable resources for the City to collaborate with property owners in our pursuit of redevelopment opportunities, helping us to reimagine the Highway 85 corridor as we support local businesses, create jobs, and improve the Evans economy,” said City of Evans Mayor Mark Clark.
The Brownfields Program advances President Biden’s Justive40 Initiative, which aims to deliver at least 40 percent of the benefits of certain government programs to disadvantaged communities. Approximately 86 percent of the communities selected to receive funding as part of this announcement have proposed projects in historically underserved areas. EPA’s Brownfields grants and other technical assistance programs like the RE-Powering America’s Land Initiative are also helping to build the clean energy economy.
Today’s announcement includes approximately $180 million from the historic $1.5 billion investment from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help turn brownfield sites across the nation into hubs of economic growth and job creation, along with more than $75 million from fiscal year 2022 appropriations.
The funding includes:
- $112.8 million for 183 selectees for Assessment Grants, which will provide funding for brownfield inventories, planning, environmental assessments, and community outreach.
- $18.2 million for 36 selectees for Cleanup Grants, which will provide funding to carry out cleanup activities at brownfield sites owned by the recipient.
- $16.3 million for 17 selectees for Revolving Loan Fund grants that will provide funding for recipients to offer loans and subgrants to carry out cleanup activities at brownfield sites.
- $107 million for 39 high-performing Revolving Loan Fund Grant recipients to help communities continue their work to carry out cleanup and redevelopment projects on contaminated brownfield properties. Supplemental funding for Revolving Loan Fund Grants is available to recipients that have depleted their funds and have viable cleanup projects ready for work.
The list of selected applicants is available here: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/applicants-selected-fy-2022-brownfields-assessment-rlf-cleanup-arc-grants-and-rlf
Since its inception in 1995, EPA’s investments in brownfield sites have leveraged more than $35 billion in cleanup and redevelopment. This has led to significant benefits for communities across the country. For example:
- To date, this funding has led to more than 183,000 jobs in cleanup, construction, and redevelopment and more than 9,500 properties have been made ready for reuse.
- Based on grant recipient reporting, recipients leveraged on average $20.43 for each EPA Brownfields dollar and 10.3 jobs per $100,000 of EPA Brownfield Grant funds expended on assessment, cleanup, and revolving loan fund cooperative agreements.
- In addition, an academic peer-reviewed study has found that residential properties near brownfield sites increased in value by 5% to 15% as a result of cleanup activities.
- Finally, analyzing data near 48 brownfields, EPA found an estimated $29 million to $97 million in additional tax revenue for local governments in a single year after cleanup—2 to 7 times more than the $12.4 million EPA contributed to the cleanup of those brownfield sites.
A brownfield is a property for which the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. Redevelopment made possible through the program includes everything from grocery stores and affordable housing to health centers, museums, greenways, and solar farms.
The next National Brownfields Training Conference will be held on August 16-19, 2022 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Offered every two years, this conference is the largest gathering of stakeholders focused on cleaning up and reusing former commercial and industrial properties. EPA co-sponsors this event with the International City/County Management Association (ICMA).