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Council Bluffs, Iowa, to Receive $166,500 for Brownfields Redevelopment Planning

Release Date: 04/25/2013
Contact Information: Belinda Young, 913-551-7463, young.belinda@epa.gov

Environmental News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Lenexa, Kan., April 25, 2013) - The City of Council Bluffs, Iowa, will receive $166,500 to develop a plan for brownfields property assessment, cleanup and reuse in its mid-city area, EPA Region 7 announced today. Council Bluffs will use this funding to create a plan and implementation strategy for a project area totaling approximately 70 acres. The City is one of 20 communities nationwide to receive this funding.

EPA’s Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Program provides grant funding and technical assistance to brownfields communities like Council Bluffs that are selected through a national grant competition. These communities use EPA resources to research area-wide planning approaches that will help them clean up and reuse brownfields properties.

Brownfields are defined as those properties whose expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. Brownfields sites include all "real property," including residential, commercial and industrial properties. It is estimated that there are more than 450,000 brownfields in the U.S. Cleaning up and reinvesting in these properties increases local tax bases, facilitates job growth, utilizes existing infrastructure, takes development pressures off of undeveloped, open land, and both improves and protects the environment.

Council Bluffs has identified the former Katelman Foundry as the catalyst site for redevelopment within its mid-city urban renewal area. This former steel fabrication facility filed for bankruptcy in 2005, and moved its operations out of the neighborhood. The approximately 3.8-acre site presently consists of eight parcels spanning several city blocks.

Many industrial businesses that once operated in Council Bluffs’ mid-city area have either closed or moved to areas more conducive to manufacturing operations. This has resulted in numerous properties exhibiting signs of disinvestment and a general lack of maintenance.

EPA’s Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Program assists communities in responding to local brownfields challenges, particularly where multiple brownfield sites are in close proximity, connected by infrastructure, and where such properties may be limiting the economic, environmental and social prosperity of their surroundings. This program is part of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities collaboration involving EPA, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

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