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Two Grass Valley, Calif., groups awarded $1 million in U.S. EPA Brownfields grants

Release Date: 05/08/2013
Contact Information: David Yogi, 415-972-3350,

Grants part of over $62.5 million awarded nationally

SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today awarded $600,000 in Brownfields hazardous substances cleanup grants to the Yuba River Charter School, located in Grass Valley, Calif. and $400,000 in community-wide hazardous substance and petroleum assessment grants to City of Grass Valley (Calif.) as part of a $62.5 million in EPA Brownfields Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup (ARC) grants awarded nationally to over 240 recipients.

“These grants will go a long way to bring areas in Grass Valley back into productive reuse while involving community members in the process,” said Jared Blumenfeld EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “EPA is pleased to be able to fund these local projects that will revitalize neighborhoods, spur economic activity, and address the legacy of gold mining contamination.”

Three $200,000 hazardous substance cleanup grants were awarded to Yuba River Charter School to remediate areas near the school that were mined for gold in the 19th century and, more recently, used for 50 years to burn municipal solid waste. Upon completion of the site remediation, the properties will become part of the new Yuba River Charter School.

The City of Grass Valley’s $200,000 community-wide hazardous substance assessment grant and $200,000 community-wide petroleum assessment grant will be used to conduct approximately 30 Brownfields hazardous substance site assessments of sites across the city. Results from these site assessments will be used to create ranked inventories of hazardous substance and petroleum sites and develop cleanup strategies. Grant funding will also be used to conduct community involvement activities.

Additionally, EPA awarded the City of Brea (Calif.) a $200,000 hazardous substance cleanup grant to address sites contaminated by former railway operations.

Nationally, 240 recipients have been recommended to receive $62.5 million in grants. These new investments, funded by EPA’s ARC grants, provide communities with funding necessary to assess, cleanup and redevelop contaminated properties, boost local economies and leverage jobs while protecting public health and the environment.

These Brownfields grants target under-served and economically disadvantaged neighborhoods – places where environmental cleanups and new jobs are most needed. Approximately $29.5 million are going to communities that have been impacted by plant closures. Other selected recipients include tribes and communities in 45 states across the country, and nearly half of the grantees this year are new recipients.

There are an estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated sites in the United States. More than 20,000 properties have been assessed, and more than 850 properties have been cleaned up. EPA’s Brownfields investments have also leveraged more than $19 billion in overall cleanup and redevelopment funding from public and private sources. On average $17.79 is leveraged for every EPA Brownfields grant dollar spent. These investments resulted in approximately 87,000 jobs nationwide. When Brownfields are addressed, nearby property values can increase 2-3 percent.

A 2011 pilot study indicated Brownfields site redevelopment increases location efficiency, which means that residents live closer to where they work and play reducing their commute times and greenhouse gas emissions. EPA’s preliminary research has also shown that redeveloping Brownfield sites results in an efficient reuse of existing infrastructure and decreasing instances of stormwater runoff. These projects can have a positive impact on community revitalization by leveraging jobs, producing clean energy, and providing recreation opportunities for surrounding neighborhoods.

More information on Brownfields grants by state:

More information on EPA’s Brownfields:
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