SAN FRANCISCO -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that the City of Oroville will be one of 171 communities nationwide receiving brownfields funding to clean and redevelop contaminated properties, boost local economies and leverage jobs while protecting public health and the environment.
The FY14 Brownfields Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup (ARC) grants will give communities and businesses a chance to return economic stability to under-served and economically disadvantaged neighborhoods through the assessment and clean-up of abandoned industrial and commercial properties, places where environmental cleanups and new jobs are most needed.
“Brownfields funding allows communities to innovate new ways to retrofit formerly polluted, unused sites for sustainable new uses,” Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “This funding will not only assess and clean up contaminated property, but engage the community in planning for redevelopment of the gateway corridor to the city.”
The City will use the grant funding to prepare community wide inventory and prioritization for chemical and petroleum contaminated sites, conduct five Phase I environmental site assessments, and three Phase II environmental site assessments, one focused on the former Las Plumas Lumber Facility. The Las Plumas facility is an important element in the City’s plans as its redevelopment will allow for improved transportation circulation in Oroville, as well as the development of retail, commercial, and light industrial facilities.
A Phase I assessment determines the likelihood that some form of environmental contamination is present which includes a complete and thorough investigation on the history of a particular site. A Phase II assessment is a more comprehensive investigation that may include the collection of soil or groundwater samples to determine contamination conditions at the site.
A total of approximately $23.5 million is going to communities that have been impacted by plant closures. Other selected recipients include tribes and communities in 44 states across the country; and at least 50 of the grants are going to communities who have received grants from U.S. Housing and Urban Development, U.S. Department of Transportation, and U.S. EPA.
Since the inception of the EPA’s Brownfields program in 1995, cumulative brownfield program investments have leveraged more than $21 billion from a variety of public and private sources for cleanup and redevelopment activities. This equates to an average of $17.79 leveraged per EPA brownfield dollar expended. These investments have resulted in approximately 93,000 jobs nationwide. These projects demonstrate the positive impact a small investment of federal brownfields funding can have on community revitalization through leveraging jobs, producing clean energy, and providing recreation opportunities for surrounding neighborhoods. EPA’s Brownfields Program empowers states, communities, and other stakeholders to work together to prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse brownfields sites.
More information on brownfields grants by state: http://cfpub.epa.gov/bf_factsheets/
More information on EPA’s brownfields: