U.S. EPA AWARDS BAY AREA CITIES $300,000 FOR REVITALIZATION

    Vice President Al Gore and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S.  EPA) today announced that the city of San Francisco has been awarded $100,000  and the city of Richmond $200,000 to help fund the redevelopment of industrial  sites, known as brownfi6lds. San Francisco and Richmond are among 20 cities  and government entities in the nation that today were added to the U.S. EPA's  brownfields pilot program.

    The cities will receive the funding over a two-year period and it will be  used to revitalize contaminated properties and return them to thriving,  productive use.

SAN FRANCISCO, June 13

    "Brownfields projects bring together community leaders, investors, lenders,  developers and citizens to work together and develop their own plans to turn  economically abandoned areas into environmentally safe, economically attractive  areas," said U.S. EPA Administrator Carol Browner.

    "In communities with brownfields, this program can bring about the general economic revitalization of neighborhoods that otherwise could not have gotten  back on their feet," Browner added. "Everyone wins."

    "I am pleased that the cities of San Francisco and Richmond are being given  funds to encourage the cleanup of contaminated industrial land and its return to  productive community use," said Felicia Marcus, U.S. EPA's Regional  Administrator. "We firmly believe that environmental cleanup can bring life and  strength to a community through jobs, an enhanced tax base, and vision for the  community's future."

    In San Francisco, the funds will be used to revitalize the Bayview/Hunter's  Point neighborhood adjacent to the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, a federal  Superfund site. Brownfields properties with known or suspected contamination  will be addressed under the pilot project.

    Under its pilot project, San Francisco will evaluate the areals background  information to identify potential chemical sources and pathways of human  exposure; develop an area map illustrating areas of potential environmental  concerns; review proposed land uses and develop appropriate cleanup levels for  land use; conduct risk assessments and develop cleanup strategies; and conduct  meetings with community members and regulatory agencies to address environmental concerns associated with land use, zoning, economic development, and  environmental justice.

    The city of Richmond will redevelop its North Shoreline area. The grant will be used to conduct preliminary site assessments; develop financing mechanisms for cleanup; streamline the regulatory process to achieve cleanup; and begin education and outreach programs in the North Shoreline area.

    The addition of San Francisco and Richmond brings to five the number of brownfields pilot projects in California. The others are in the cities of Emeryville, Stockton, and Sacramento. The U.S. EPA is working with the city of East Palo Alto on its brownfields project in the Ravenswood area. In addition, U.S. EPA has assigned personnel to both Los Angeles and East Palo Alto to support brownfields activities in these cities. U.S. EPA is also working with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control to streamline regulations for addressing cleanup at brownfields properties.

    Under the pilots projects -- which now total 60 nationwide -- the community and developers will work together to restore abandoned sites, thereby creating new jobs and economic growth, increasing property values and stimulating tax revenues. All of the national pilots will feature cooperative efforts between diverse community groups, investors, lenders, developers, regulators and other interested parties.

CONTACT: Lois Grunwald of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 415-744-1588
 
 
Copyright 1996 PR Newswire Association, Inc.
PR Newswire
June 13, 1996, Thursday
SECTION: State and Regional News
DISTRIBUTION: TO CITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL EDITORS
LOAD-DATE: June 14, 1996