U.S. EPA awards over $400,000 in Brownfields grants in Northern California
Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded a collective $428,723 to the city of Eureka and the Hopland Band of Pomo Indians to assess potential contamination and to clean up contaminated sites in both communities.
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 Northern California EPA Brownfields grants are distributed as follows:
$200,000 to the city of Eureka – to clean up the Old Canyon Mill site on Waterfront Drive, previously home to a variety of industrial operations in the Old Town district. The contamination related to the industrial operations restrict the city’s use of the property. Post-clean up, plans include redevelopment of the Old Town district with housing, offices and a variety of retail establishments.
$228,723 to the Hopland Band of Pomo Indians – to conduct an environmental assessment at the 2001 Tribal Well contaminated with naturally occurring hazardous materials, including arsenic. Since the tribe’s 1906 relocation, locating a viable, affordable source of drinking water has been an ongoing struggle. The bulk of the funds will be used to clean up contaminated, corrosive water on a 6.5-acre strip of wooded property along the Hopland Rancheria’s southern border. The environmental assessment, clean up of the well site, and soil monitoring will improve the health of tribal lands and reduce health risks to tribal members.
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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