EPA Provides $500,000 in Technical Assistance to Redevelop Brownfields

By Erika Schnitzer, Associate EditorWashington, D.C.–As part of its Brownfields Sustainability Pilots, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is providing $500,000 in technical assistance for the sustainable assessment, cleanup and redevelopment of 16 brownfields throughout the nation.The program will allow states and communities to work together to reuse a number of brownfields for a multitude of uses, including commercial, residential and recreational, as well as for development of a solar power plant and a nonprofit organization. The assistance will help to support sustainable activities, including reusing and recycling construction and demolition materials, green building and infrastructure design, energy efficiency, water conservation, renewable energy development and native landscaping. Additionally, the pilots will demonstrate practices that communities throughout the country will be able to use as examples for their own projects.In Greenville, S.C., the EPA has selected the Greenville Workforce Housing Project to receive $25,000 for its redevelopment of a former service station and supermarket into workforce housing. The EPA’s technical assistance will help to incorporate a number of green building features into the project.In Humboldt County, Calif., the EPA will provide $50,000 of technical assistance in updating the master plan for the Samoa Peninsula, a former 171-acre lumber mill and sash factory. The county had previously conducted an environmental site assessment, which was funded by the EPA Brownfields Assessment Grant, and found that there were high levels of lead and other chemicals on the site. The EPA Brownfields Sustainability Pilots program will assist Humboldt County with incorporating green building standards for conversion of the mill into new residential, commercial and recreation uses.Another project includes The Waterfront in Allentown, Pa., the site of a historical iron and steel manufacturing plant and a proposed mixed-use development for which the EPA will provide $25,000 of technical assistance. The plan also includes public space along the Lehigh River, including parks and walking trails, and the hope is that the redeveloped property will provide an economic stimulus to the community.The remaining projects are located in Lynchburg, Va.; Cleveland, Ohio; Springfield, Miss.; Oklahoma City, Okla.; Detroit, Mich.; Houston; Roxbury, Mass.; Laredo, Texas; Valley, Ala.; Burlington, Vt.; Sun Juan County, Colo. and two projects in Portland, Ore.