Grass Valley and Sutter Creek receive EPA Brownfields funding for mining contamination assessment

The Sierra Fund congratulates the cities of Grass Valley and Sutter Creek on receiving US-EPA funding to assess hazardous substances in their communities, including legacy mining toxins. 


Brownfields 2009 Assessment Grant Fact Sheet
Grass Valley, CA

EPA Brownfields Program
EPA’s Brownfields Program empowers states, communities, and other stakeholders to work together to prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse brownfields. A brownfield site is real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. On February 17, 2009, President Barack Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The Recovery Act is an unprecedented effort to jumpstart our economy, and create or save millions of jobs. This law provided stimulus funds to the Brownfields Program to award grants to evaluate and clean up former industrial and commercial sites. Under this law, EPA will provide financial assistance to eligible applicants through four competitive grant programs: assessment grants, revolving loan fund grants, cleanup grants, and job training grants.

Assessment Grants
$200,000 for hazardous substances (Recovery Act Funding)

$200,000 for petroleum (Recovery Act Funding)

EPA has selected the City of Grass Valley for two brownfields assessment grants. Community-wide hazardous substances grant funds will be used to inventory and prioritize brownfields in five areas: Downtown, the Idaho-Maryland Road corridor, East Main Street, Colfax Avenue, and South Auburn Road. Grand funds also will be used to conduct up to 12 Phase I and 4 Phase II environmental site assessments, prepare cleanup plans, and support community outreach activities. Petroleum grant funds will be used to conduct the same tasks at sites with potential petroleum contamination.

Community Description
The City of Grass Valley was selected to receive two brownfields assessment grants. Grass Valley (population 10,922) is located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in northeastern California, and has served as a commercial center since the gold rush of the 1850s. It was the site of some of the highest-producing gold and quartz-bearing mines on the West Coast, as well as lumber mill operations. There are about 2,660 mining sites in or near Grass Valley, ranging in size from 50 to 100 acres. Although mining and lumber milling are no longer significant contributors to the area’s economy, the effects of these operations present environmental and health challenges. The city’s residents have median household and per capita incomes below the state and national averages, and almost 63 percent of residents have low or very low incomes. Assessment of brownfields is expected to increase public awareness, gain information about contamination, and provide incentives for site cleanup and reuse.

Contacts
For further information, including specific grant contacts, additional grant information, brownfields news and events, and publications and links, visit the EPA Brownfields Web site (http://www.epa.gov/brownfields).

EPA Region 9 Brownfields Team
(415) 972-3091
EPA Region 9 Brownfields Web site (http://www.epa.gov/region9/brownfields)
Grant Recipient: City of Grass Valley, CA
(530) 274-4330



Brownfields 2008 Assessment Grant Fact Sheet
Sutter Creek, CA

EPA Brownfields Program
EPA’s Brownfields Program empowers states, communities, and other stakeholders to work together to prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse brownfields. A brownfield site is real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. On January 11, 2002, President George W. Bush signed into law the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act. Under the Brownfields Law, EPA provides financial assistance to eligible applicants through four competitive grant programs: assessment grants, revolving loan fund grants, cleanup grants, and job training grants. Additionally, funding support is provided to state and tribal response programs through a separate mechanism.

Assessment Grant
$200,000 for hazardous substances

EPA has selected the City of Sutter Creek for a brownfields assessment grant. Hazardous substances grant funds will be used to perform a Phase II environmental site assessment at the Historic Blacksmith Shop and conduct community outreach activities.

Community Description
The City of Sutter Creek was selected to receive a brownfields assessment grant. Sutter Creek (population 2,300) is a small community in California’s historic Mother Lode mining district in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Its economy grew and flourished around the hard rock gold mining industry. The timber industry eventually replaced mining as the primary employer in Sutter Creek. With the closing of the mines and sharp downturn in the timber industry, the economy of the area stagnated. Sutter Creek has survived primarily on its attraction as a historic gold country town with much of its employment base in tourism and the supporting service industries. Assessment of the Historic Blacksmith Shop is expected to help facilitate the city’s plan to preserve the site as a living history educational experience for the public.

Contacts
For further information, including specific grant contacts, additional grant information, brownfields news and events, and publications and links, visit the EPA Brownfields Web site (http://www.epa.gov/brownfields).

EPA Region 9 Brownfields Team
(415) 972-3091
EPA Region 9 Brownfields Web site (http://www.epa.gov/region9/brownfields)
Grant Recipient: City of Sutter Creek, CA
(209) 267-5647

The information presented in this fact sheet comes from the grant proposal; EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of this information. The cooperative agreement for the grant has not yet been negotiated. Therefore, activities described in this fact sheet are subject to change.

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