U.S. EPA Announces $1.4 Million to Help Clean Up Contaminated Properties, Communities in California


SAN FRANCISCO, CA – July 30, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced that $1.4 million is being awarded for cleanup efforts at contaminated California sites known as brownfields.  Both the California Department of Toxic Substances Control and City of Sacramento were chosen to receive the grant funds. A brownfield is a parcel of land where hazardous substances or pollutants are a barrier to its successful redevelopment or reuse.

“Contaminated properties exact a heavy toll on the quality of life of local residents, and create a drag on nearby businesses,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest.  “These funds will be used to revitalize toxic sites, turning blighted properties into engines of economic opportunity and community pride.”

California’s Department of Toxic Substances is receiving $1 million in brownfields funding.  “This $1 million from U.S. EPA is a much needed injection of cash that will breathe new life into several communities across California,” said DTSC Acting Director, Maziar Movassaghi.  “The funds will be used to restore economic vitality to areas of the state that had little hope for redevelopment.  Many diverse communities across the state  are already seeking this kind of help, and they will benefit from this money because ultimately we’re talking about bringing these toxic sites back to life as clean, productive properties.”

The City of Sacramento is being awarded $400,000 in brownfield grant funding.  The City of Sacramento has many low-income neighborhoods characterized by dilapidated commercial strips, substandard housing, and inadequate infrastructure. Many of these neighborhoods contain abandoned junk yards, former plating and metal-working shops, closed dry cleaners, and vacated auto repair operations.  The Sacramento Revolving Loan Fund program will leverage the EPA grant money with other financial tools available to the city for use in the target areas. Revolving loan funds are used to provide low or zero interest loans for cleanups of distressed contaminated properties.

“We have a tremendous opportunity to utilize this money for targeted infill development in our city,” said Sacramento’s Economic Development Director, Jim Rinehart.  “These funds certainly will help leverage other public and private resources, and enable Sacramento to complete projects that might otherwise be held up waiting for cleanup funds.”

The EPA’s brownfields program encourages redevelopment of America’s estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites.  Since the beginning of the program, revolving loan fund grants recipients have executed 172 loans and awarded 57 subgrants to support brownfields cleanup totaling more than $96 million.  The loan funds have leveraged more than $2.5 billion in public and private cleanup and redevelopment investment and enabled the leveraging of 6,493 jobs in cleanup, construction and redevelopment.

More information on the FY 2010 grant recipients: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/ and http://cfpub.epa.gov/bf_factsheets/index.cfm?grant_type_id=1002&grant_announcement_year=.

More information on EPA’s brownfields program: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/

Brownfields success stories: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/success/index.htm

Media Contact:
Mary Simms, simms.mary (at) epa (dot) gov


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