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News Releases from Region 10

Rogue Valley Council of Governments, Medford and Grants Pass Selected for $600,000 in Brownfields Assessment Grants

Program helps return blighted properties to productive reuse

05/31/2017
Contact Information: 
Judy Smith (smith.judy@epa.gov)
503-326-6994

EPA has selected Rogue Valley Council of Governments and coalition partners Jackson County and the cities of Medford, Central Point and Grants Pass for two brownfields environmental site assessment grants totaling $600,000. With this funding, the council will assess up to 34 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 Rogue Valley Council of Governments and coalition partners grant funding will include $300,000 to assess sites contaminated with hazardous substances, and $300,000 to assess sites contaminated with petroleum. Grant funds of both types also will be used to create a brownfields inventory, prioritize brownfields, prepare two area-wide plans, and conduct community involvement activities.

Assessment activities will focus on the Medford and Grants Pass Metropolitan Areas, including the City of Central Point and the unincorporated community of White City. Coalition partners are the Cities of Medford, Central Point, and Grants Pass, and Jackson County.

“We are very excited to be selected for an EPA Community Wide Assessment grant!  The grant will greatly aid our brownfield coalition in achieving its vision to provide every resident the opportunity to live in a neighborhood that is beautiful, safe, affordable and easy to get around in,” said Michael Cavallaro, Chief Executive of Rogue Valley Council of Governments. “This will be accomplished by revitalizing formerly auto sales and service dominated areas, revitalizing industrial and commercial areas, creating new jobs that can be accessed through public transit, and increasing the available supply of affordable and working class housing.”

The imminent expansion of Medford, Grants Pass and other Rogue Valley cities' geographic boundaries makes it essential to identify and eventually mitigate contamination on otherwise developable land in and around these cities to reduce the unnecessary urbanization of rural and agricultural lands.  Coalition partners are currently working together to strengthen the local economy by attracting new, diverse industries. Brownfields, including closed mills, abandoned gas stations and former auto sales and service facilities and other derelict properties, are a significant impediment to economic development.

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 Rogue Valley Council of Governments 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. 

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

To view fact sheets about the 2017 grant recipients: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/brownfields-list-fy17-grants-selected-funding

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