June 2, 2016
The Portland Brownfield Program is getting more help from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to identify and clean up contaminated properties. A pair of $200,000 EPA grants will allow the Brownfield Program to give free technical and financial assistance to Portland property owners concerned about possible contamination on their land. Free technical assistance is available for brownfields anywhere in the city, but the grants will provide financial assistance on brownfields in the target area of east Portland.
Similar grants in the past have helped fund several brownfield projects, including the Dharma Rain Zen Center at SE 85th Avenue and Siskiyou Street. The nonprofit Buddhist institution is converting the former quarry and landfill into its new campus with facilities for meditation, classes and living quarters.
A brownfield is a site where past use has left contamination in the soil or groundwater, or where concern about contamination prevents the property’s re-use. The sites of former gas stations, metal plating facilities and dry cleaners are common examples of brownfields. Many sites now considered brownfields once provided jobs and helped fuel the economy. Redeveloping brownfields stimulates the economy while protecting water quality, green space and public health.
For nearly 20 years, Portland has provided technical and financial support to help property owners, developers, and community members recover neighborhood lands. Portland was a recipient of one of the first EPA brownfield grants in 1998.
A 2011 EPA grant helped Portland establish a Brownfield Revolving Loan Fund available to property owners to clean contaminated soil on their land. In addition to managing the loan fund, the Portland Brownfield Program offers free technical and financial assistance to property owners and developers.
For more information, contact the Brownfield Program at 503-823-7764 or visit www.brownfield.org.
The Bureau of Environmental Services works with Portland residents and businesses to protect water quality, public health, and the environment through wastewater collection and treatment, sewer construction and maintenance, stormwater management, and stream and watershed restoration.