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EPA Provides Technical Assistance to Sutherland, Neb.

Release Date: 03/15/2012
Contact Information: Ben Washburn, 913-551-7364, washburn.ben@epa.gov

Environmental News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Kansas City, Kan., March 15, 2012) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 7 announced that the Village of Sutherland, Nebraska, recently received technical assistance from EPA that will help the village become more sustainable. The assistance came in the form of a comprehensive report that provided the means for Sutherland to redevelop a number of former gas stations in its downtown.

At the core of the technical assistance are four abandoned gas stations located along U.S. Highway 30, which runs through downtown Sutherland and is the former Lincoln Highway. The abandoned gas stations may pose potential environmental and public health hazards due to underground storage tanks that remained after the stations closed. By addressing the tanks, including potential contamination and liability issues, these sites can be made viable for reuse that benefits the community while removing community eyesores and transforming the sites into community assets. The redevelopment of these sites can spur further revitalization in the area.

“The technical assistance provided to the Village of Sutherland allows the community leaders to restore four Brownfields properties to beneficial use for the community,” said Karl Brooks, EPA Region 7 Administrator. “This is a clear example that shows how being environmentally conscious can bring positive growth and development for our small rural communities.”

The project location was identified through the EPA Region 7 inventory of abandoned gas stations situated along the historic Lincoln Highway (U.S. Highway 30). EPA, in partnership with the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Program, provided redevelopment planning support to village officials as they plan to revitalize the downtown community, including the four former downtown gas station sites that serve as gateways to the community.

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