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Portland gets brownfield cleanup help

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has granted the City of Portland Brownfield Program $1.4-million to assess brownfield site contamination, and to support cleanup projects and community outreach. The grants are part of $76 million in new investments to redevelop brownfields around the country that the EPA announced on Monday. (Click here to see the EPA news release.)

Brownfields are typically the former sites of gas stations, dry cleaners and other uses that may have left contamination that impedes property redevelopment. The state estimates there are nearly 4,000 brownfield sites in Portland.

The EPA selected Portland to receive two brownfield assessment grants and a brownfields revolving loan fund grant:

  • A $200,000 hazardous substances grant will fund Phase I and Phase II environmental site assessments. The grants are for use citywide with a focus on East Portland. The city will also use these funds for cleanup plans and community outreach.
  • A $200,000 petroleum grant will fund the same activities at sites with potential petroleum contamination.
  • A $1 million revolving loan fund grant will provide loans and sub-grants for cleanup of sites contaminated with hazardous substances and petroleum.

The target area of East Portland has some of Portland's fastest-growing neighborhoods and many low-income residents. Brownfield assessments will identify contamination and provide incentives to redevelop properties. The revolving loan fund grant will support brownfield cleanup and redevelopment.

"The Bureau of Environmental Services' longtime dedication to cleaning up our city's brownfields is paying dividends," Mayor Sam Adams said. "With this funding, Environmental Services will be able to take land that's currently underutilized, begin cleanup, and create opportunities to attract new development. Not only does this work create jobs, it also improves neighborhoods and benefits the public health of Portlanders."

For 15 years, Portland has provided technical and financial support to help property owners, developers, and community members recover neighborhood lands. Portland received one of the first EPA brownfield grants in 1998.

For more information contact Linc Mann, 503-823-5328.