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News Releases from Region 10

Municipality of Anchorage Selected for $300,000 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 Municipality of Anchorage, Alaska, for two brownfields environmental site assessment grants totaling $300,000. With this funding, Anchorage will conduct up to fourteen brownfield site assessments 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 Municipality of Anchorage’s grant will include $150,000 to assess sites contaminated with hazardous substances, and $150,000 for sites contaminated with petroleum. Grant funds will also be used to support community involvement activities, maintain and update a brownfields site inventory, and conduct area wide planning activities.

The Municipality of Anchorage plans to use brownfield grant funding to evaluate Reinvestment Focus Areas identified in their 2040 Land Use Plan Update to catalyze infill and redevelopment in strategic areas and to spur new compact housing and business investment. Demographic data from the RFAs reveals the inequity that these areas experience when compared to the community at large. Community support for the brownfields assessment was demonstrated by the inclusion of 19 letters of support with their application package.

“Redevelopment focus areas within the Municipality of Anchorage are a vital component of the municipality’s continued health and economic prosperity and as such the Municipality of Anchorage is enthusiastically accepting the EPA Brownfields grant to identify, assess, and create cleanup action plans for contaminated sites that will spur economic development in a thoughtful and community empowering manner,” said Nicole Jones-Vogel, Municipality of Anchorage Land Management Officer.

The environmental benefits provided by eventual brownfields cleanup activity are especially important for the Anchorage community.  Brownfields are almost always next to the water bodies that provides spawning habitat for salmon and other fish. Locally caught fish are an important aspect of food security for the population who rely on urban waters adjacent to brownfields for subsistence.  The early Dena'ina Athabascan people depended on wildlife and abundant salmon runs in the Cook Inlet and Anchorage region for thousands of years before settlement displaced them.

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.

Anchorage is 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