Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley today announced that five Oregon communities will receive $1.55 million in new funding from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to redevelop brownfield sites. Communities that were awarded grants include Linn County, Tillamook County, and the cities of Salem, Sherwood and Tigard. These grants will create good-paying, green jobs while allowing each city and county to accelerate the redevelopment of the brownfield sites. This funding comes from the competitive Brownfield Assessment Grants Program within the EPA.
“This funding is a major win for Oregon’s natural resources, our citizens’ health, and our economy,” Merkley said. “Redeveloping brownfield sites will ignite growth in these communities, revitalize properties long forgotten, and most importantly, put Oregonians to work.”
Senator Merkley’s office sent appropriations requests and maintained repeated correspondence to the EPA in support of each jurisdiction’s grant applications. This year Oregon received five grants—a record high—totaling $1.55 million. In 2013, the city of Beaverton and Deschutes County received a total of $400,000 in funding through the program.
“We are so grateful to Senator Merkley and the congressional delegation for their strong support of our EPA Assessment grant,” said Tigard Mayor John Cook. “The City is looking forward to working with its community partners to address the key issue of contaminated properties, and creating a more livable, walkable, and economically resilient community.”
“The EPA funding will allow the City to assess and plan for cleanup of the former Frontier Leather Tannery property in order to redevelop this site in the future,” said Sherwood Mayor Bill Middleton. “This will greatly increase economic opportunities in the community. Bringing this property back into productive use is a critical part of our long term downtown plan. We greatly appreciate the support from Senator Merkley and the congressional delegation on behalf of this important economic development project.”
Under the Brownfield Assessment Grants program, the EPA provides grants to inventory, characterize, assess, conduct planning and community involvement related to brownfield sites. The EPA’s Brownfields program allows states, local communities and other stakeholders to collaborate to safely clean up brownfields, prevent future sites and spur redevelopment.
Details on how each community will use its funding can be found online at EPA.gov/brownfields. The following communities received grants:
Linn County: $350,000 for Site-Specific Assessment (former Wood Products Manufacturing and Aggregate Mining Site at 2210 Tamarack Street in Sweet Home)
Salem, OR: $200,000 for Community-Wide Assessment
Sherwood, OR: $200,000 for Site-Specific Assessment (Frontier Leather Tannery)
Tigard, OR: $400,000 for Community-Wide Assessment
Tillamook County: $400,000 for Community-Wide Assessment