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Funds part of a $254 Million Nationwide effort to tackle polluted Brownfield sites

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is announcing a $8.3 million investment of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds to cleanup and revitalize eight communities in Oregon. 

“With today’s announcement, we’re turning blight into might for communities across America,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “EPA’s Brownfields Program breathes new life into communities by helping to turn contaminated and potentially dangerous sites into productive economic contributors. Thanks to President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we are significantly ramping up our investments in communities, with the bulk of our funding going to places that have been overburdened and underserved for far too long.”

The following communities received grants awards from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help turn brownfield sites across Oregon into hubs of economic growth and job creation:

  • $402,000 to the City of Chiloquin for a Brownfields Cleanup Grant. Funds will be used to clean up the former Markwardt Brothers Garage Assemblage site that contains a collapsed building and contaminated underground storage tanks.
  • $500,000 to Clatsop County for a Brownfields Assessment Grant. Funds will be used for environmental site assessments and development of cleanup and reuse plans. Possible sites include a former gas station in Surfside and an abandoned collection of buildings in Astoria.
  • $1,000,000 to Columbia Pacific Economic Development District of Oregon for a Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund Grant. The grant will be used to provide loans and subgrants to support cleanup activities. Potential locations include a 60-acre area dotted with vacant structures, an 81-acre wood veneer processing plant and lumber mill, a dry dock, and a vacant gas station.
  • $500,000 to the City of Hillsboro for a Brownfields Assessment Grant. Funds will be used to develop a Brownfield site inventory and conduct environmental site assessments to develop cleanup plans. Possible sites include a former rail depot and silo site, a gas station and carwash site, a dry cleaner, and auto repair site.
  • $500,000 to the City of Lincoln City for a Brownfields Assessment Grant. Funding will be used to inventory and prioritize Brownfield sites, and conduct site assessments to be used to develop six cleanup plans, possibly including a former auto shop, a dry cleaner, and a rock quarry.
  • $500,000 to the City of Portland for a Brownfields Assessment Grant. Funds will be used to conduct environmental site assessments and cleanup plans for sites that may include a former automotive repair shop and junkyard located within walking distance of public transit and is considered a prime candidate for reuse.
  • $500,000 to the Rogue Valley Council of Governments for a Brownfields Assessment Grant. Grant funds will be used to perform environmental site assessments, inventory and prioritize sites, and develop cleanup plans. Potential areas include a former log truck service and repair station, three gas stations, and a fruit orchard.
  • $500,000 to the Tillamook County for a Brownfields Assessment Grant. Funding will be used to conduct environmental site assessments and to develop cleanup plans for sites that could potentially include a former sawmill and an automobile wrecking facility.
  • $3,900,000 to the Oregon Business Development Department as supplemental funding for an existing Revolving Loan Fund grant to pay for additional Brownfield site cleanups. This funding will help the recipient to continue success in their work to cleanup and redevelop brownfield sites.

The Brownfields Program advances President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, ensuring that at least 40% of benefits from federal investments in climate and clean energy flow to disadvantaged communities. Approximately 86% of the communities selected to receive funding have proposed projects in historically underserved areas.

Communities will begin to address the economic, social, and environmental challenges caused by brownfields by stimulating economic opportunity and environmental revitalization in overburdened communities. Projects can range from cleaning up buildings with asbestos or lead contamination to assessing and cleaning up abandoned properties that once managed dangerous chemicals.

Find more information on the full list of the 2022 Brownfield Grant applicants selected for funding.

Background

A brownfield is a property for which the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. Redevelopment includes everything from grocery stores and affordable housing to health centers, museums, greenways, and solar farms.   

The next National Brownfields Training Conference will be held on August 16-19, 2022 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Offered every two years, this conference is the largest gathering of stakeholders focused on cleaning up and reusing former commercial and industrial properties. EPA co-sponsors this event with the International City/County Management Association (ICMA). Conference registration is open at www.brownfields2022.org.

For more on Brownfields Grants: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/types-brownfields-grant-funding

For more on EPA’s Brownfields Program: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields

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