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U.S. EPA awards $175,000 to Huntington Park, San Diego, for Brownfields Development

Release Date: 10/18/2010
Contact Information: Francisco Arcaute, 213 244 1815, cell 213 798 1404, arcaute.francisco@epa.gov

LOS ANGELES - Communities for a Better Environment, of Huntington Park, Calif., and the San Diego-based Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation, will each receive $175,000 as part of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s $4 million in assistance to 23 communities, many in under-served and economically disadvantaged areas, to develop area-wide plans for the reuse of brownfields properties.

EPA is awarding approximately $4 million in total across 23 recipients. Recipients will each receive up to ap­proximately $175,000 in EPA cooperative agreement and/or direct technical assistance. Assistance will help recipients initiate develop­ment of an area-wide plan and identify next steps and resources needed to implement the plan.

"This area-wide approach recognizes that revitalization of the communities impacted by multiple brownfield sites or a large individual site – particularly in distressed communities – requires a strategy for area-wide improvement to attract investment to redevelop brownfields properties,” said Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. “The approach also recognizes the importance of identifying and leveraging additional local, state, and federal investment to implement the plans.”

Details on the Communities for a Better Environment, Huntington Park, $175,000 award are as follows:
EPA has selected Communities for a Better Environment (CBE) as a Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Pilot Program recipient. CBE will focus its project on the Huntington Park Brown-to- Green project area. Huntington Park is a predominantly Latino community in Los Angeles County, in which approximately 21 percent of families live below the poverty level. The project area was home to heavy manufacturing operations until the 1960s. Smaller manu­facturing operations have since located in the area, which is now blighted by dilapidated buildings and vacant lots.

Attempts to improve this area have not been able to develop a comprehensive revitalization vision. CBE will work with its community partners to facilitate community involvement in developing an area-wide plan around brownfields site assessment, cleanup, and potential reuses that will help transform the project area into a mixed-use, sustainable area that will better meet the needs of residents.

Details on the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation, San Diego, $175,000 award are as follows:
EPA has selected the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation as a Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Pilot Program recipient. The Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation will focus its project on The Village at Market Creek, an underused, brownfields-impacted area in the center of the Diamond Neighborhoods of southeastern San Diego. The Diamond Neighborhoods are economi­cally distressed, highly diverse communities of 84,300 residents. The unemployment rate in southeastern San Diego is estimated to be 20 percent. Median incomes are half of the countywide average.

At least 12 sites in The Village are suspected to be contaminated brownfields. The area-wide planning process will incorporate input from community planning partners on brownfields site reuse priorities and adequacy of infrastructure to support those reuses. As a result of the area-wide plan, brown­fields cleanup and reuse will be addressed in the Cultural Village Plan for the Village at Market Creek, already in development.

The plans will integrate site cleanup and reuse into coordinated strategies to lay the foundation for addressing community needs such as economic development, job creation, housing, recreation, and education and health facilities. Brownfields are properties where the presence or potential presence of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants may complicate the properties’ expansion, redevelopment, or reuse.

More information on the grant recipients: http://epa.gov/brownfields/areawide_grants.htm

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