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U.S.EPA AWARDS $191,371 GRANT TO CITY OF MONTEBELLO

Release Date: 11/3/1998
Contact Information: Lois Grunwald, U.S. EPA, (415) 744-1588, Didacus Ramos, Montebello Economic Development Department, (213) 887-1390

Grant presented at November 3 city council meeting  

     (San Francisco) -- To help give the city of Montebello an environmental and economic boost, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S.EPA) today awarded the city of Montebello a $191,371 brownfields grant to help in the redevelopment of about 100 acres of industrial land in the southeast corner of the city.  

     Brownfields are abandoned or under-used industrial or commercial areas where redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination. Property owners, lenders, investors and developers fear that involvement with these sites will make them liable for contamination they did not create.

     "The energy and commitment of Montebello to assess these properties and determine their future use can be a key to this community's future," said Keith Takata, U.S. EPA's Superfund director.  "This area has the potential to generate a solid economic and employment base for the city."

     Montebello's pilot will feature environmental assessments of the industrial properties and community involvement in decisions regarding the contaminated properties. Fear of potential environmental liability has prevented business expansion of the area.

     In Region 9, U.S. EPA currently has existing brownfields pilot projects in the cities of Long Beach, Montebello, Los Angeles, West Hollywood, Sacramento, Stockton, East Palo Alto, Emeryville, Richmond, San Francisco, Oakland, Santa Barbara, Pomona, Colton, San Diego, Las Vegas, Tucson and Phoenix.  There are also projects in the Navajo Nation in New Mexico, the Hoopa Valley Tribe in Northern California, Tohono O'odham Nation in Arizona, the Ely Shoshone Tribe in Nevada, Alameda County, and the State of California Trade and Commerce Agency. There are 228 brownfields pilot projects nationwide.

     The brownfields initiative was launched to empower states, local governments, and other stakeholders in economic redevelopment to work together to assess, clean up, and sustainably reuse these brownfields properties. The initiative also addresses the concerns of prospective developers and lenders concerned about inheriting cleanup liability for property that is contaminated or perceived to be contaminated.

     Information on the new brownfields pilot grant awards can be obtained from the U.S. EPA's brownfields home page at: http:// www.epa.gov/brownfields .

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