Huffman Announces Over $1.45 Million to California’s Second District Through Investing in America Agenda for Cleanup and Technical Assistance at Polluted Brownfield Sites
Funding is part of $4.4 million to Northern California from EPA’s largest investment ever in brownfield communities
May 26, 2023
Washington, D.C. – Today, Representative Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) shared the announcement that over $4.4 million from President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda has been awarded to expedite the assessment and cleanup of brownfield sites in Northern California while advancing environmental justice. $1.45 of this funding is headed specifically to three projects in California’s Second Congressional District: Hoopa Valley Tribe, Cleanup Grant; Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation, and Conservation District, Assessment Grant; and Tolowa Dee-ni' Nation, Cleanup Grant.
EPA selected eight entities in Northern California to receive grants totaling more than $4.4 million in competitive EPA Brownfields funding through the Multipurpose, Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup (MARC) Grant programs. Thanks to the historic boost from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, this is the most funding ever awarded in the history of the EPA’s Brownfields MARC Grant programs.
These investments are part of President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda to grow the American economy from the bottom up and middle-out – from rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure, to driving over $470 billion in private sector manufacturing and clean energy investments in the United States, to creating a manufacturing and innovation boom powered by good paying jobs that don’t require a four-year degree, to building a clean-energy economy that will combat climate change and make our communities more resilient.
“Cleaning up brownfields is good for the environment, the economy, and surrounding communities that suffer the lasting impacts that polluting and extractive industries have left behind. Contaminated and abandoned areas are dangerous blemishes that keep communities from using these places to the fullest,” said Rep. Jared Huffman. “It’s great to see money from Democrats’ historic investments going towards cleanup projects in my district. Part of our vision for the Investing in America Agenda is to rebuild and restore our land and infrastructure with a focus on climate resiliency and environmental justice. This grant will go a long way in revitalizing potential wastelands, allowing them to be utilized as working places for the tribes and cities that depend on them.”
“We’re working across the country to revitalize what were once dangerous and polluted sites in overburdened communities into more sustainable and environmentally just places that serve as community assets. Thanks to President Biden’s historic investments in America, we’re moving further and faster than ever before to clean up contaminated sites, spur economic redevelopment, and deliver relief that so many communities have been waiting for,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “This critical wave of investments is the largest in Brownfields history and will accelerate our work to protect the people and the planet by transforming what was once blight into might.”
“These Brownfields grants in Northern California) are vital in EPA’s efforts to restore lands and the communities around them by removing harmful pollution and reviving the lands for beneficial uses,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Martha Guzman. “Brownfields funds enable and empower communities to create healthier, safer and more equitable futures for themselves.”
“The Hoopa Valley Tribe is appreciative of the U.S. EPA for providing funding for the clean-up of long-standing logging activity that occurred on Tribal Lands. By remediating this land, it provides the opportunity for reuse and redevelopment of the parcels in an environmentally sound and meaningful manner. Hoopa Valley Public Utilities District has been designated this land by the Hoopa Valley Tribe to expand critical utilities within the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation. This clean-up and reuse will benefit this entire community and the Hoopa Valley Tribe's ability to manage and upgrade our infrastructure for future generations,” said Linnea Jackson, General Manager for the Hoopa Valley Public Utilities District.
“The EPA Grant Funds will begin a new chapter in the History of Humboldt Bay. Once prospering lumber mills, which shuttered due to dwindling resources, left a legacy of contamination along the shores of Humboldt Bay. The clean-up and redevelopment of these sites will mark the rebirth of the port as we embark to support the world of offshore wind energy,” said Larry Oetker, Executive Director for the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation, and Conservation District.
“Thank you to EPA for the funding this long-planned and much needed project,” said Jeri Lynn Thompson, Tolowa Dee-ni' Tribal Chairperson.
Many communities that are under economic stress, particularly those located in areas that have experienced long periods of disinvestment, lack the resources needed to initiate brownfield cleanup and redevelopment projects. As brownfield sites are transformed into community assets, they attract jobs, promote economic revitalization and transform communities into sustainable and environmentally just places.
Thanks to the historic $1.5 billion boost from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, EPA’s Brownfields Program is helping more communities than ever before begin to address the economic, social, and environmental challenges caused by brownfields and stimulate economic opportunity, and environmental revitalization in historically overburdened communities.
EPA’s Brownfields Program also advances President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative to direct 40 percent of the overall benefits of certain Federal investments to disadvantaged communities. The Brownfields Program strives to meet this commitment and advance environmental justice and equity considerations into all aspects of its work. Approximately 84 percent of the MARC program applications selected to receive funding proposed to work in areas that include historically underserved communities.
State Funding Breakdown:
Brownfields Multipurpose, Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup (MARC) Grant Program Selection
The following organizations in Northern California have been selected to receive EPA Brownfields funding through the Multipurpose, Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup (MARC) Grant Programs.
- Blue Forest Finance, Inc., Assessment Grant for $500,0000: This grant will support the development of an inventory of abandoned and potentially contaminated lumber mill sites to advance needed economic development and ensure the safety of nearby residents. Assessing these brownfield sites for future redevelopment will catalyze community revitalization, improve forest health by helping to establish wood utilization infrastructure, and enable opportunities for site redevelopment and community investment.
- Hoopa Valley Tribe, Cleanup Grant for $456,988: This grant will help facilitate cleanup of a former logging and milling site located adjacent to a culturally sensitive area for the Hoopa Valley Tribe and will support redevelopment of the property into an expanded solid waste transfer station.
- Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation, and Conservation District, Assessment Grant for $500,000: The grant will support assessment and cleanup planning at the Redwood Marine Terminal, focusing on a former mill with pentachlorophenol and dioxin contamination to support redevelopment into the Humboldt Bay Offshore Wind Heavy Lift Marine Terminal. The new terminal will support tenants in the manufacturing, installation, and operation of renewable energy offshore wind floating platforms and provide crewing and marshaling services in the waters of the Pacific Ocean.
- Mt. Shasta, Cleanup Grant for $707,740: The City of Mount Shasta will use the cleanup grant to address a portion of the Landing, a former lumber mill that sustained Mount Shasta’s economy until logging restrictions led to its eventual closing in the late 1980s. Site reuse will include residential units, affordable housing, commercial and retail space, office space, a hotel and hostel, and a greenway connection into to the downtown corridor.
- Sacramento, Multipurpose Grant for $800,000: This Brownfields Multipurpose Grant will be used to conduct community outreach, environmental site assessment, cleanup, and reuse planning for sites which were previously used as gasoline service stations and dry cleaners. The Del Paso Heights community in Sacramento has long envisioned the vacant, blighted properties at the intersection of Marysville Boulevard and Grand Avenue as the neighborhood’s town center and this funding is a critical step towards realizing their vision.
- Sierra Institute for Community and Environment, Assessment Grant for $500,000: The Sierra Institute’s grant will support environmental site assessments, including further characterization of an abandoned mill site in Crescent Mills. This assessment will support future reuse of the site as a wood-utilization campus, supporting community priorities to utilize biomass to reduce forest fuel buildup and increase use of renewable fuels.
- Susanville Indian Rancheria, Cleanup Grant for $500,000: This grant will enable the Susanville Indian Rancheria to clean up land contaminated by former burn piles, allowing the tribe to restore and preserve the area’s watershed and reintroduce native and culturally significant vegetation.
- Tolowa Dee-ni' Nation, Cleanup Grant for $500,000: This grant will allow the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation to clean up a site of extreme cultural importance that will help revitalize estuary waterfront recreation land, supporting community healing, cultural revitalization, community development, and educational, recreational and economic opportunities.
Brownfields Technical Assistance Providers and Research Grants
EPA is also announcing funding selection for two Brownfields technical assistance opportunities. The Technical Assistance to Brownfields (TAB) selectees provide specialized technical knowledge, research, and training to help stakeholders understand brownfields-related subject matter, and guide them through the brownfield assessment, clean-up, and revitalization process. This assistance is a key part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to advance economic opportunities and address environmental justice issues in underserved communities. This technical assistance is available to all stakeholders and comes at no cost to communities. The two funding opportunities announced today include the following:
- EPA selected Center for Creative Land Recycling to receive $5 million to provide training and technical assistance to communities across the entire region under the Technical Assistance to Brownfields (TAB) Communities Program. This funding comes entirely from the historic $1.5 billion investment from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
- EPA is also expanding the scope of its technical assistance offerings under the Brownfields and Land Revitalization Program to include three new subject-specific grants totaling $2 million in three areas, including providing technical assistance to nonprofits seeking to reuse brownfields; provide research, outreach, and guidance on minimizing displacement resulting from brownfields redevelopment; and providing outreach and guidance on land banking tactics for brownfields revitalization.
For more information about Brownfields Technical Assistance and Research, please visit https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/brownfields-technical-assistance-and-research.
EPA has selected these organizations to receive funding to address and support the reuse of brownfield sites. EPA anticipates making all the awards announced today once all legal and administrative requirements are satisfied.
EPA’s Brownfields Program began in 1995 and has provided nearly $2.37 billion in Brownfield Grants to assess and clean up contaminated properties and return blighted properties to productive reuse. EPA’s investments in addressing brownfield sites have leveraged more than $36 billion in cleanup and redevelopment. Over the years, the relatively small investment of federal funding has leveraged, from both public and private sources, nearly 260,000 jobs. Communities that previously received Brownfields Grants used these resources to fund assessments and cleanups of brownfields, and successfully leverage an average of 10.6 jobs per $100,000 of EPA Brownfield Grant funds spent and $19.78 for every dollar.
The next National Brownfields Training Conference will be held on August 8-11, 2023, in Detroit, Michigan. Offered every two years, this conference is the largest gathering of stakeholders focused on cleaning up and reusing former commercial and industrial properties. EPA co-sponsors this event with the International City/County Management Association (ICMA).
For more on Brownfields Grants: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/types-brownfields-grant-funding
For more on EPA’s Brownfields Program: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields
Next Article Previous Article