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U.S.EPA AWARDS $200,000 GRANT TO CITY OF LONG BEACH

Release Date: 11/10/1998
Contact Information: Lois Grunwald, U.S. EPA, (415) 744-1588, Greg Davy, Director of Public Information, City of Long Beach, (562)-570-6818

Grant presented at November 10 city council meeting  
 
     (San Francisco) -- To help in the city of Long Beach's vision to construct a new sports park, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) today awarded the city a $200,000 brownfields grant for work on transforming industrial property near the city of Signal Hill.

     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 the city to create a vital, thriving area in Long Beach is an inspiration," said Keith Takata, U.S. EPA's Superfund director.  "EPA is proud to play a part in the area's transformation."

     Long Beach's brownfields project will feature clean up and restoration of about 56 acres of  industrial property that extends into the city of Signal Hill. Long Beach plans to develop some of this area into a sports park, which will serve as a catalyst for further new commercial growth in the area. The area was the site of oil and gas production, waste and debris disposal, and other industries. Fear of potential environmental liability has prevented redevelopment of the area on numerous occasions.

      U.S. EPA's grant will assist the city of Long Beach's efforts to develop this property by funding testing to determine if groundwater in the area has been contaminated by previous site activities and to evaluate cleanup options for contaminated soils. The money will also be used to conduct outreach activities that will encourage community and business participation and cooperation in the project.

     In Region 9, U.S. EPA currently has existing brownfields pilot projects in the cities of 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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