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EPA awards $200,000 Brownfields grant to Tucson to help clean up former tungsten mill


Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded $200,000 to the city of Tucson to clean up a former tungsten ore mill located on Silver Bell Road and Speedway Boulevard.

The city will use the funds to clean up lead, arsenic and cadmium at the 29-acre mill site in the Painted Hills National Resource Park. The project will revitalize the site as part of a county-wide trail system that preserves a green belt linking important recreational facilities throughout the city. Currently, the site is unavailable for public use because of continued concern about exposure to toxic metals.

Nationally, the EPA awarded 302 grants totaling $75.9 million today as part of the agency’s Brownfields program, which provides funding to clean up and redevelop contaminated properties.

“The brownfields program empowers communities to return blighted eyesores into community assets,” said Wayne Nastri, administrator of the U.S. EPA’s Pacific Southwest Office in San Francisco. “These grants provide jobs, curb suburban sprawl and clean up contaminated properties all at once. We look forward to helping more communities throughout the Pacific Southwest take advantage of this win-win grants program.”

The brownfields program encourages redevelopment of America’s estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites. Since the beginning of the program, the EPA has awarded 1,067 assessment grants totaling more than $262 million, 217 revolving loan fund grants totaling more than $201.7 million, and 336 cleanup grants totaling $61.3 million.

In addition to industrial and commercial redevelopment, brownfields approaches have included the conversion of industrial waterfronts to river-front parks, landfills to golf courses, rail corridors to recreational trails, and gas stations to housing. EPA’s brownfields assistance has leveraged more than $9.6 billion in cleanup and redevelopment, helped create more than 43,029 jobs and resulted in the assessment of more than 10,504 properties and the cleanup of 180 properties.


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