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News Releases from Region 09

City of Reno Receives $600,000 from EPA for Revitalization of Contaminated Properties

05/06/2020
Contact Information: 
Margot Perez-Sullivan (perezsullivan.margot@epa.gov)
415-947-4149

RENO - Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the City of Reno has been selected to receive a $600,000 grant to assess and clean up contaminated properties under the agency’s Brownfields Program.

Nationwide, more than 151 communities have been selected to receive grants totaling more than $65.6 million in EPA Brownfields funding. These funds will help under-served and economically disadvantaged communities assess and clean up contaminated properties and return them to productive reuse.

“This Brownfields grant will provide downtown Reno communities an opportunity to transform vacant, possibly contaminated sites into neighborhood assets,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator John Busterud. “This redevelopment can attract jobs and promote economic revitalization, while taking advantage of existing infrastructure and protecting communities and the environment.”

“Thank you to the EPA Office of Brownfields and Land Revitalization for taking care of business in the Truckee Meadows,” said Congressman Mark Amodei. “This starts the process for numerous sites to begin the return to being viable economic development sites. The timing could not be better.” 

“We’re truly excited to be selected for a Brownfields grant,” said Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve. “Like so many communities around the country, Reno’s economy has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. These much-needed funds come at an opportune time and will help our City Council continue revitalizing downtown and our urban core – a vision I championed even before becoming Mayor.”

The City of Reno was selected for a $600,000 Brownfields Communitywide Assessment and Coalition grant. The funds will support assessments and cleanup planning in downtown Reno, focusing on a vacant former railroad corridor located between the Lincoln Highway and adjacent Truckee River corridor. Redevelopment in this area will support creation of workforce housing and space for professional offices, small retail establishments and service shops; restoration of the riverfront; and expansion of local bus transit. The grant funding is expected to leverage over $350 million in new development opportunities in the area. Partners along with the city on this project are the Reno Redevelopment Agency and the Community Foundation of Western Nevada.

For complete summaries of all projects selected in the Pacific Southwest Region, visit: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/2020-brownfields-grants-awards-pacific-southwest

Background

A brownfield is a property for which the site’s expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. There are estimated to be more than 450,000 brownfields in the United States. EPA’s Brownfields Program began in 1995 and has provided nearly $1.6 billion in grants to assess and clean up contaminated properties and return blighted properties to productive reuse. To date, Brownfields investments have leveraged more than $31 billion in cleanup and redevelopment. Over the years, the relatively small investment of federal funding brought about further investment, from both public and private sources, which led to the creation of more than 160,000 jobs.

EPA’s Brownfields Program grants have been shown to:

  • Increase Local Tax Revenue: A study of 48 brownfields sites found that an estimated $29 million to $97 million in additional local tax revenue was generated in a single year after cleanup. This is two to seven times more than the $12.4 million EPA contributed to the cleanup of these sites.
  • Increase Residential Property Values: Another study found that property values of homes near revitalized brownfields sites increased between 5 and 15 percent following cleanup.

For more on EPA’s Brownfields Program: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields

Learn more about EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region, which implements and enforces federal environmental laws in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, the Pacific Islands, and 148 tribal nations. Connect with us on Facebook and on Twitter.

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