SAN FRANCISCO -- Today the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announces $69.3 million in grants for new investments to provide communities with funding necessary to clean and redevelop contaminated properties, boost local economies and create jobs while protecting public health.
In California, $1.2 million will be split among the cities of San Francisco, Emeryville, Chico and Grass Valley to assess and clean up contaminated properties. Today’s announcement also includes Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund supplemental awards totaling nearly $1 Million for Humboldt County, the City of Sacramento and California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control.
'Restored Brownfield properties can serve as cornerstones for rebuilding struggling communities. These grants will be the first step in getting pollution out and putting jobs back into neighborhoods across the country,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “Clean, healthy communities are places where people want to live, work and start businesses. We're providing targeted resources to help local partners transform blighted, contaminated areas into centers of economic growth.'
Nationally, the 245 grantees include tribes and communities in 39 states across the country, funded by EPA’s Brownfields Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup (ARC) grants, and Revolving Loan Fund Supplemental grants. The grants awarded will assess and clean up abandoned industrial and commercial properties. Nearly half of the grantees this year are new awardees who demonstrate a high level of commitment for undertaking specific projects and leveraging the funding to move those projects forward.
EPA has selected the City and County of San Francisco for two brownfields assessment grants totaling $400,000. Community-wide hazardous substances grant funds will be used to inventory brownfield sites and conduct environmental site assessments in the targeted Bayview Hunters Point community of San Francisco. Grant funds also will be used to conduct community outreach activities. Petroleum grant funds will be used to conduct the same tasks at sites with potential petroleum contamination.
EPA has selected the City of Emeryville for a $200,000 brownfields cleanup grant. Hazardous substances grant funds will be used to clean up the Star Intersection Affordable Housing site at 3706 San Pablo Avenue. The one-acre site was used by several businesses, including an auto service business and a lock and key company. Site soil and groundwater are contaminated with solvents. Grant funds also will be used to conduct community outreach activities.
EPA has selected the City of Grass Valley for a $200,000 brownfields assessment grant. Site-specific hazardous substances grant funds will be used to perform an environmental site assessment at the Village of South Auburn site at 750 South Auburn Avenue. The 11-acre site is adjacent to a historic mining property and has been used for illegal dumping. Grant funds also will be used to prepare a cleanup plan for the site and conduct community outreach activities.
EPA has selected the City of Chico for two brownfields assessment grants totaling $400,000. Community-wide hazardous substances grant funds will be used to inventory brownfield sites and conduct environmental site assessments. Preference will be given to assessing brownfields located in the city's Park Avenue Brownfields Corridor. Grant funds also will be used to conduct community outreach activities. Petroleum grant funds will be used to conduct the same tasks at sites with potential petroleum contamination.
Approximately 29 percent of the grants are being awarded to non-urban areas with populations of 100,000 or less, 16 percent are being awarded to “micro” communities with populations of 10,000 or less, and the remaining grants are being awarded to urban areas with populations exceeding 100,000.
There are an estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites in America. In 2011, EPA’s brownfields program leveraged 6,447 jobs and $2.14 billion in cleanup and redevelopment funds. Since its inception EPA’s brownfields investments have leveraged more than $18.3 billion in cleanup and redevelopment funding from a variety of public and private sources and have resulted in approximately 75,500 jobs. More than 18,000 properties have been assessed, and over 700 properties have been cleaned up. Brownfields grants also target under-served and low income neighborhoods – places where environmental cleanups and new jobs are most needed.
See list of all awarded brownfields grants by state: http://cfpub.epa.gov/bf_factsheets/
More information on EPA’s brownfields program: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/
More information on brownfields success stories: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/success/index.htm