City of Missoula, Montana to receive $300,000 to advance the cleanup and redevelopment of properties
EPA Brownfields grant will be used to assess and develop cleanup plans at former industrial sites and a gravel mine
Missoula, Mont. -- Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing that the City of Missoula, Montana will receive a $300,000 Brownfields grant to conduct environmental site assessments and develop cleanup and reuse plans in the Northside and Westside target areas. This grant will also support community outreach activities, including the development of site-specific fact sheets and stakeholder meetings.
The City of Missoula is among 151 communities nationwide selected to receive a total of 154 grant awards totaling $66.5 million in EPA Brownfields funding through the agency’s Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup Grant programs. This funding will support underserved and economically disadvantaged communities across the country in assessing and cleaning up contaminated and abandoned industrial and commercial properties. Approximately 50 percent of selected recipients will be receiving EPA Brownfields Grant funding for the first time and more than 85 percent are located in or serving small communities.
“EPA continues to support the City of Missoula’s efforts to assess, cleanup and revitalize properties in neighborhoods across the community,” said Mark A. Smith, EPA Region 8 director of the Land, Chemicals, and Redevelopment Division. “We’re pleased to support these targeted environmental assessments, which will help leverage the creation of new housing and provide the community an opportunity to participate in cleanup and reuse plans for the Northside and Westside areas.”
“For twenty years EPA has been an essential partner in returning Missoula damaged properties to productive use. With land for housing at such a premium Missoula can’t afford to ignore properties that can be cleaned up and reused,” said City of Missoula Mayor John Engen. “We’re really grateful to EPA and excited to use this tool to help redevelop properties within the City’s existing footprint.”
The City of Missoula will use these funds to focus on several priority sites, including three former industrial facilities, two light-industrial sites, and a gravel mine.
The Northside and Westside target areas are separated by the largest rail yard in Montana, which is also a State Superfund site. The Northside includes abandoned mills, closed small landfills, idled gravel extraction operations, and vehicle storage yards next to a low-income residential neighborhood. The Westside is comprised of a patchwork of motels, light-industrial public facilities, small residences, and the County Detention Center. A gravel operation across the river from the Westside is also included in the target area.
EPA grant funds will support the City’s efforts to consolidate and modernize public facilities, create higher density development, and expand parks and trails in these areas. The City also plans to increase mixed housing that will provide a range of options across unit types and affordability and support community investment and overall social and economic health.
The list of the fiscal year 2021 applicants selected for funding is available here: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/applicants-selected-fy-2021-brownfields-multipurpose-assessment-and-cleanup-grants
EPA anticipates that it will award the grants once all legal and administrative requirements are satisfied by the selected recipients.
Since its inception in 1995, EPA's Brownfields Program has provided nearly $1.76 billion in grants to assess and clean up contaminated properties and return them to productive reuse. This has led to significant benefits for communities across the country. For example,
· To date, communities participating in the Brownfields Program have been able to attract more than $34.4 billion in cleanup and redevelopment funding after receiving Brownfields funds. This has led to over 175,500 jobs in cleanup, construction, and redevelopment.
· Based on grant recipient reporting, recipients leveraged on average $20.13 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 15.2% 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.
For more on the Brownfields Grants: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/types-epa-brownfield-grant-funding
For more on EPA’s Brownfields Program: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields