EPA awards $600K to support the cleanup and redevelopment of properties in Salt Lake County, Salt Lake City and Murray City
Brownfields coalition grant to catalyze economic revitalization at Camp Kearns and other targeted areas
DENVER - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is awarding $600,000 in Brownfields grant funding to a coalition of local governments led by Salt Lake County to advance the cleanup and revitalization of properties in the county and in the communities of Salt Lake City and Murray City, Utah. Salt Lake County is among 149 communities have been selected to receive grant awards totaling $64,623,553 million in EPA Brownfields funding through our Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup (MAC) grant programs.
“These grants fulfill several of President Trump’s top priorities simultaneously: helping communities in need transform contaminated sites into community assets that not only create jobs and jumpstart economic development but also improve public health and the environment,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “We are targeting these funds to areas that need them the most. Approximately 40 percent of the selected recipients are receiving Brownfields grants for the first time, which means we are reaching areas that may previously been neglected, and 108 of the selected communities have identified sites or targeted areas for redevelopment that fall within Opportunity Zones.”
Salt Lake County is receiving a $600,000 Brownfields Assessment Coalition grant which will be used to conduct environmental site assessments at nearly 50 locations. The County, along with coalition partners in Salt Lake City and Murray City, will use the EPA funds to target properties in three priority areas: Camp Kearns in Salt Lake County, the Murray City Central Business District, and the Jordan River/Glendale Neighborhood in Salt Lake City. The Brownfields project is the latest in a series of successful property assessment, cleanup and redevelopment efforts in Utah communities supported by EPA in coordination with our partners at the Utah Department of Environmental Quality.
“EPA continues to support Utah’s communities as they assess and clean up properties and create new economic opportunities for their residents,” said EPA Regional Administrator Gregory Sopkin. “We look forward to seeing the areas targeted by these grants revitalized as places where people live, work and play.”
Thank you so much to the EPA,” said Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson. “This grant will go a long way toward returning spaces back to the community for future economic development, making them safer, cleaner and more environmentally friendly for our businesses and families.”
"These EPA Brownfields grants reflect the power of partnership and will help accomplish our overriding goals of healthier people, healthier communities, and a healthier economy," said Utah Department of Environmental Quality Executive Director Alan Matheson.
Camp Kearns includes more than 100 acres that have been neglected for decades, with former uses as Army training, light industrial, automotive, and mechanical repair facilities. Potential contaminants of concern include petroleum compounds, heavy metals, asbestos, and other hazardous materials. The area has been designated as a federal Opportunity Zone which the coalition intends to capitalize on as part of the redevelopment efforts. The redevelopment of Camp Kearns has the potential to bring a large number of jobs back to the community through the development of light industrial and manufacturing businesses, improving the community’s overall economic vitality and health, as well as the quality of life for its residents.
Salt Lake City will also use EPA grant funds to assess environmental contamination at properties in the Jordan River/Glendale neighborhood, including a gas station and auto repair shop located along the east banks of the Jordan River. Murray City will assess properties in the Central Business District including a critical property that is home to an auto repair shop and former gas station.
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. There are estimated to be more than 450,000 brownfields in the U.S. As of May 2019, under the EPA Brownfields Program 30,153 properties have been assessed, and 86,131 acres of idle land have been made ready for productive use. In addition, communities have been able to use Brownfields grants to leverage 150,120 jobs and more than $28 billion of public and private funding.
Grants awarded by EPA’s Brownfield Program provide communities across the country with an opportunity to transform contaminated sites into community assets that attract jobs and achieve broader economic development outcomes while taking advantage of existing infrastructure. For example, Brownfields 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% following cleanup.
One hundred and eight communities selected for grants this year have identified sites or targeted areas in census tracts designated as federal Opportunity Zones. An Opportunity Zone is an economically-distressed community where new investment, under certain conditions, may be eligible for preferential tax treatment.
List of applicants selected for funding: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/applicants-selected-fy19-brownfields-multipurpose-assessment-and-cleanup-grants
EPA booklet “Brownfields: Properties with New Purpose, Improving Local Economies in Communities with Brownfield Sites”: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2019-06/documents/bf_booklet.pdf
For more on the Brownfields Grants: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/types-brownfields-grant-funding
For more on EPA’s Brownfields Program: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields