Visalia to Receive $400K Brownfield Grant

May 31, 2014

LOS ANGELES, May 28, 2014 The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that the City of Visalia will be one of 171 communities nationwide receiving brownfields funding to clean and redevelop contaminated properties, boost local economies and leverage jobs while protecting public health and the environment.

The FY14 Brownfields Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup (ARC) grants will give communities and businesses a chance to return economic stability to under-served and economically disadvantaged neighborhoods through the assessment and clean-up of abandoned industrial and commercial properties, places where environmental cleanups and new jobs are most needed.

“Brownfields funding allows communities to innovate new ways to retrofit formerly polluted, unused sites for sustainable new uses,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “With these funds, the City of Visalia will not only protect the environment, but it will expand green space for its residents.”

The City of Visalia will receive a $400,000 hazardous substances grant to clean up the 1.2-acre East Parcel and .5-acre West Parcel of 522 Riverway Drive. This site is part of a larger property that operated as an automobile wrecking yard from the 1950s to the 1990s and was contaminated with heavy metals. The funding project will create a trail corridor which links regional trail users to the City of Visalia’s 80-acres River Sports Park by extending the existing St. John’s Riverway trail through the site. 

Past brownfields funding to the City of Visalia included assessment projects that studied the contamination at a number of sites in the downtown area. Additionally, past funding was used to target rundown properties for revitalization.

A total of approximately $23.5 million is going to communities that have been impacted by plant closures. Other selected recipients include tribes and communities in 44 states across the country; and over 50 of the grants are going to U.S. Housing and Urban Development, U.S. Department of Transportation, and U.S. EPA grant recipient communities.

Since the inception of the EPA’s Brownfields program in 1995, cumulative brownfield program investments have leveraged more than $21 billion from a variety of public and private sources for cleanup and redevelopment activities. This equates to an average of $17.79 leveraged per EPA brownfield dollar expended. These investments have resulted in approximately 93,000 jobs nationwide. These projects demonstrate the positive impact a small investment of federal brownfields funding can have on community revitalization through leveraging jobs, producing clean energy, and providing recreation opportunities for surrounding neighborhoods. EPA’s Brownfields Program empowers states, communities, and other stakeholders to work together to prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse brownfields sites.

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Source: US EPA