EPA Awards Brownfields Grant to Mt. Shasta to Clean Up Toxic Lumber Mill

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced approximately $3.8 million in new pilot grants to nine recipients across the country for cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated properties. One of the grants will go to the City of Mt. Shasta, Calif., for a brownfields multi-purpose pilot grant. Petroleum grant funds will be used to assess and clean up the Roseburg Commerce Park “New Mill” site located west of South Mt. Shasta Boulevard.

The pilot multi-purpose grants, funded by EPA’s Brownfields program, will help recipients to conduct assessments and cleanup activities, and secure funding to eliminate delays in moving from assessment to cleanup. The investments will continue to provide communities with necessary funding to help clean up America’s land, boost local economies and create jobs while protecting public health.

“Investment in the clean up and reuse of contaminated properties provides the catalyst to improving the lives of residents living in or near Brownfields communities. This funding will help foster local economic growth and leverage jobs in communities where they are needed most,” said EPA Assistant Administrator Mathy Stanislaus. “A revitalized Brownfields site reduces threats to human health and the environment, promotes community involvement, and attracts investment in local neighborhoods.”

The Mt. Shasta site is a former lumber mill contaminated with petroleum compounds. Assessment grant funds will be used to conduct an environmental site assessment and develop a cleanup plan. Cleanup grant funds will be used to clean up the site, prepare closeout reports, and certify that the site is ready for redevelopment. Both assessment and cleanup funds will be used to conduct community engagement activities. The site is expected to be redeveloped as a multi-use commerce park that will include a conference facility and space for offices, retail stores, restaurants, entertainment, and environmentally clean light-industrial uses.

Nationally, the multi-purpose projects selected, represent a broad range of redevelopment such as a grocery store located in a food desert in Tampa, Fla., a potential tree farm or urban garden in Newark, N.J., a garden honoring Chinese culture in Astoria, Ore. and the rehabilitation of a County Courthouse in Missoula, Mont. One grantee, Bay City in Michigan, has a development agreement to transform a 43-acre downtown, riverfront brownfield site into a LEED-certified, mixed-use, $150 million commercial and retail center with more than25 buildings, anchored by a globally significant corporation guaranteeing at least 440 new high-tech jobs.

The nine grant recipients represent communities in need of redevelopment across the country. More than half of the grantees have been affected by recent plant closures. In addition, five of the nine communities are located in non-urban areas with populations of 100,000 or less. The nine multi-purpose grant communities demonstrate a high level of preparedness to undertake their specific project and many already have committed leveraged funds necessary to move their projects forward as well as detailed redevelopment plans and anticipated leveraged jobs.

There are an estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites in America. EPA Brownfields program targets these sites to encourage redevelopment, and help to provide the opportunity for productive community use of contaminated properties. Brownfields grants target under-served and low income neighborhoods – places where environmental cleanups and new jobs are most needed.

Since inception in 1995, EPA’s brownfields investments have leveraged more than $18.3 billion in cleanup and redevelopment funding from a variety of public and private sources and have resulted in approximately 75,500 jobs. In 2012, EPA awarded $69.3 million to 245 grantees in 39 states across the country to assess and clean up abandoned industrial and commercial properties.