Environmental Protection

EPA Awards $1.3 M to National City for Brownfields

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last week advanced its environmental justice program with the distribution of a $1 million brownfields revolving loan to National City, Calif.

The agency also awarded a $300,000 Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) grant to the Environmental Health Coalition for work in Barrio Logan and National City and provided resources to assist with the Westside Affordable Housing Transit Oriented Development in National City.

In addition to providing funds, EPA is collaborating with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Transportation – via the Interagency Partnership for Sustainable Communities – in helping National City meet its sustainability goals to generate affordable housing and transportation while simultaneously protecting the environment, promoting equitable development, and addressing the challenges of climate change.

“Unjust land use plans have allowed pollution to burden the health of our communities for too long,” said Diane Takvorian, executive director of Environmental Health Coalition. “We applaud EPA’s commitment to environmental justice and will use these funds to create community plans that lead to cleaner, healthier neighborhoods.”

The funds will be distributed as follows:

  • $1 million National City Brownfields revolving loan. EPA selected National City for a 2009 Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund Grant, including $800,000 for hazardous substances and $200,000 for petroleum. These funds will be used to capitalize a revolving loan fund from which National City will provide loans and subgrants to support cleanup activities for sites contaminated with petroleum and hazardous substances.
  • $200,000 Brownfields Assessment grant to National City in 2007 to conduct Phase I and Phase II environmental site assessments on properties located within the Westside Neighborhood; a similar Assessment Grant for the Harbor District was awarded in 2003. The EPA Brownfields has provided approximately $1.4 million in direct funds and $75,000 in contract support to assist National City in developing green building standards and establishing a viable reuse plan for a site in the Harbor District.
  • $300,000 CARE grant to the Environmental Health Coalition. As part of EPA’s CARE program, the agency awarded a two-year, $300,000 grant to the Environmental Health Coalition to address port and stationary source emissions in Barrio Logan and National City. The Environmental Health Coalition builds grassroots campaigns that confront the consequences of toxic pollution, discriminatory land use, and unsustainable energy policies. Through leader development, organizing and advocacy, EHC improves the health of children, families, neighborhoods and the natural environment.
  • EPA- HUD-DOT to provide resources to Westside Affordable Housing Transit Oriented Development. National City requested assistance in creating and implementing a sustainability plan and financial strategy for a 14-acre brownfield seen as a catalyst for neighborhood change. The sustainability plan will assist National City in leveraging resources to clean up the site, form a link to a nearby light rail station, create an open space, improve the tidal creek, and create a 201-unit affordable housing project.

EPA, with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Transportation, will assist National City in developing a plan to address the former brownfield focusing on green building and energy-efficient redevelopment plans that incorporate stormwater and flood control management.

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