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News Releases from Region 10

Kodiak Island Borough Selected for $600,000 in Brownfields Assessment Grants

Program helps return blighted properties to productive reuse

05/31/2017
Contact Information: 
Suzanne Skadowski (skadowski.suzanne@epa.gov)
206-553-2160

EPA has selected the Kodiak Island Borough and coalition members - the City of Kodiak and Natives of Kodiak, Inc., for two brownfields environmental site assessment grants totaling $600,000. With this funding, Kodiak Island Borough will assess up to 18 brownfields sites as an initial step towards cleaning up and redeveloping vacant and underutilized properties, transforming them into an asset for both the community and the local economy while protecting public health and the environment.

“EPA is committed to working with communities to redevelop Brownfields sites which have plagued their neighborhoods. EPA’s Assessment and Cleanup grants target communities that are economically disadvantaged and include places where environmental cleanup and new jobs are most needed," said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. "These grants leverage considerable infrastructure and other investments, improving local economies and creating an environment where jobs can grow. I am very pleased the President’s budget recognizes the importance of these grants by providing continued funding for this important program.”

The Kodiak Island Borough and their coalition partners were selected for a community-wide hazardous substances grant that includes $300,000 to assess sites contaminated with hazardous substances, and $300,000 for sites contaminated with petroleum.  Grant funds of both types also will be used to update the current brownfields inventory, prioritize sites, create two area-wide plans, prepare up to three cleanup plans, and support community outreach and involvement activities.

Assessment activities will focus on the Kodiak Island Borough, the second largest island in the United States. The Kodiak Island Borough is home to 8 villages, many accessible by only air and water as well as 10 federally recognized tribes.  Community support for the brownfields assessment was demonstrated by numerous letters of support with their application package.

“We foresee the startup of the Kodiak Island Brownfield Site Revitalization Program as a catalyst for addressing downtown revitalization and the housing shortage, diversifying the economy, and strengthening our relationships with remote villages,” said Michael Powers, Borough Manager.

To the untrained eye, Kodiak is a pristine and beautiful place, but past military use has marred significant swaths of land - almost always adjacent to where people live or recreate. Pervasive contamination in groundwater and soils from petroleum products has created many brownfields and lost business opportunities.

Brownfields assessment and cleanup grants target communities with significant distress. These communities are economically disadvantaged -- neighborhoods where environmental assessment, cleanup and new jobs are most needed for residents that have historically been left behind.

The Kodiak Island Borough and partners are one of 172 communities selected nationally for new brownfields assessment and cleanup funding in 2017.  Across the country, $56.8 million in funding will be granted. 

More information about Brownfields Cleanup and Assessment Grants: www.epa.gov/brownfields

More information about the 2017 grant recipients: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/brownfields-list-fy17-grants-selected-funding