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  • County wins $400,000 EPA grant

    Jun 02, 2015 | Read More News
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    Pima County Community Development and Neighborhood Conservation Department (CDNC) won a highly competitive $400,000 EPA Community-Wide Assessment grant to conduct voluntary environmental site assessments on southside commercial and industrial properties in an effort to spur economic development and create jobs.

    Brownfields siteThe brownfields funds will allow CDNC to complete a minimum of 36 environmental site assessments in addition to conducting community outreach and planning activities, said Daniel Tylutki, program manager for the county’s brownfields program.

    Brownfields, according to the EPA, are property whose expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. Former gas stations, manufacturing sites or industrial facilities often become abandoned paved lots, decrepit buildings and home to rusting equipment because developers can’t afford the costs to address the environmental concerns. The grant funds enable communities to redevelop brownfields sites into job-producing facilities, community green space, or for other recreational and non-profit uses.

    “These are the old warehouses, factories and vacant properties you drive by on your way to the airport or Raytheon that are always for sale and you wonder, ‘Why hasn’t anything been done with that property yet?”’ said Tylutki.  “Typically current property owners or developers do not want to pay the thousands of dollars needed to conduct an environmental site assessment as part of standard due diligence and often required by the bank to get financing.” 

    “The county’s brownfields sites,” said Pima County Supervisor Ramón Valadez, whose district encompasses much of the target area, “offer tremendous revitalization and job creation opportunities through expansion and reinvestment that support the region’s aerospace, defense, and emerging bioscience sectors; transportation and logistics industries; solar-power renewable energy incentive districts; and, commercial and residential infill development.” 

    Specifically, EPA brownfields funds provide interested property owners money for lead/asbestos testing and environmental site assessments to characterize and add value to their sites.