Salt Lake and Ogden Receive $1.3 Million to Revitalize Contaminated Properties

At an event today along the North Temple corridor in Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator Jim Martin presented the Mayors of Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County and Ogden City with $1.3 million in grant awards to advance the assessment, cleanup and redevelopment of properties. The grants are part of $69 million in EPA Brownfields funds awarded to 245 communities nationally to advance property revitalization, job creation and economic development.

"Salt Lake and Ogden have built a strong coalition that is taking a strategic approach to cleaning up properties and opening new doors for investment and job creation," said EPA Regional Administrator, Jim Martin. "These funds will not only protect public health by removing contaminants like petroleum compounds, arsenic, and lead from urban neighborhoods, they will help restore dozens of properties to productive use.”

The Wasatch Front Brownfields Coalition (comprised of Salt Lake County, Salt Lake City and Ogden City) is receiving a $1 million Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund grant which will be used to provide loans and sub-grants for cleanup activities at various sites contaminated with hazardous substances and petroleum. These resources will be used to cleanup contaminants at critical priority sites, including properties in West Millcreek and the Granary District in Salt Lake City and County. In Ogden, sites receiving cleanup attention include multiple properties along the 24th Street Corridor and the 24th Street Interchange, as well as properties within the Wall Avenue Retail Corridor. Contaminants removed will include petroleum hydrocarbons, arsenic, lead, asbestos, and PCBs, among others.

“It will take a growing public-private partnership to make the progress necessary to clean up the hundreds of thousands of contaminated sites in our country,” said Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon. “I applaud the EPA and the State Department of Environmental Quality for their generous support and leadership in cleaning-up brownfield lands.”

EPA is awarding an additional $300,000 Brownfields grant to Salt Lake City for environmental assessment activities at properties in the North Temple corridor, a six-mile gateway between Salt Lake International Airport and the City’s central business area that includes the Fairpark and Poplar Grove neighborhoods. The City is partnering with the Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake and the Utah Transit Authority to focus on the revitalization of this area. Environmental assessment activities will complement ongoing efforts to develop light-rail transit, multi-use paths, landscaping, and other area improvements. Many sites with contamination concerns are adjacent to residential properties, the Jordan River, and the Jordan River Parkway. The types of properties that will be assessed using these funds include automotive-related businesses, metal working facilities, and dry cleaners.

"We have seen numerous examples of opportunities here in Utah to turn blighted property into economic prosperity with just a little investment and great initiative and foresight, said Amanda Smith, Executive Director of the Utah Department of Environmental Quality. “We applaud our partners for making a commitment to improving the environment with economic benefits to our communities throughout Utah."

Today’s grant recipients are among 245 grantees, including tribes and communities in 39 states across the country, funded by EPA’s Brownfields Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup (ARC) grants, and Revolving Loan Fund Supplemental grants. The grants awarded will assess and clean up abandoned industrial and commercial properties. Nearly half of the grantees this year are new awardees who demonstrate a high level of commitment for undertaking specific projects and leveraging the funding to move those projects forward.

There are an estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites in America. In 2011, EPA’s brownfields program leveraged 6,447 jobs and $2.14 billion in cleanup and redevelopment funds. Since its inception 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. More than 18,000 properties have been assessed, and over 700 properties have been cleaned up. Brownfields grants also target under-served and low income neighborhoods – places where environmental cleanups and new jobs are most needed.

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