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Tucson, Ariz. wraps up Brownfields site cleanup, removes 1,000 pounds of gasoline

Release Date: 12/12/2005
Contact Information: Wendy L. Chavez, (415) 947-4248

SAN FRANCISCO -- At a ceremony today, Tucson Mayor Robert Walkup and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Waste Management Director Jeff Scott officially marked the completion of the cleanup of petroleum soil contamination by shutting off the environmental cleanup system at the 35 E. Toole Ave. Brownfields site.

In 2003, the EPA gave the city of Tucson a $200,000 Brownfields cleanup grant for the petroleum contaminated property located in Tucson's Historic Warehouse District. The cleanup system, which has been operating since September 2005, has removed approximately 1,000 pounds of gasoline compounds.

"Thanks to the EPA's Brownfields program, properties that have been undeveloped due to possible contamination - such as those in Tucson - can be revitalized," said Jeff Scott, the EPA's Waste Management Division director for the Pacific Southwest region. "The EPA's Brownfield's Program yields positive results by bringing new life to under-utilized properties all across America."

"Thanks to this EPA Brownfields Cleanup grant we can remediate this site and revitalize a part of Tucson's Historic Warehouse Arts District," said Tucson Mayor Robert Walker. "Partnerships between the City and the EPA and between the City and the Warehouse Arts District are making downtown a cleaner and better place for the Tucson arts community to thrive."

"This has been a wonderful cooperative effort between the staffs from EPA, City of Tucson and the State's Voluntary Remediation Program," said Francis LaSala, environmental manager for the city of Tucson. "It's rewarding to see that three levels of government can work together with limited funding and in a relatively short time frame to cleanup this property."

In 1993-1994, several underground storage tanks containing petroleum-based products, primarily gasoline, were removed from the site revealing petroleum contamination. The city used the EPA grant funds to design and install a cleanup system to remove and destroy the gasoline contamination.
The city is one of the EPA's most successful Brownfields partners, receiving EPA grants totaling more than $2 million.

For more information on the EPA's Brownfields program, visit: http://www.epa.gov/region09/waste/brown/index.html

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