States Environmental Protection Agency — June 7, 2011

Francisco Arcaute, (213) 244-1815, Cell (213) 798-1404 arcaute.francisco@epa.gov

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded the San Diego, Calif.,-based Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation a $200,000 Brownfields cleanup grant that will be used to transform the pesticide and lead contaminated Trolley Residential site into the future home of 52 units of affordable housing at The Village at Market Creek.

“This funding will rid the soils of contamination at this site, the first step in the construction of green, affordable rental homes,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “We are pleased to collaborate with the Jacobs Center and the San Diego Redevelopment Agency in their efforts to revitalize the Diamond Neighborhoods. The results will prove that a cleaner environment can sustain a healthier community, bringing new opportunities and new jobs.”

Southeastern San Diego suffers from a severe lack of affordable housing. The 52 new homes will not only be constructed near public transportation lines but will meet LEED-Silver certification criteria including green building materials, water conservation utilities, solar power and drought resistant landscaping.

Last year, EPA awarded the nonprofit Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation a $175,000 planning grant as one of the 23 nationwide Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Pilot Program recipients. This grant also supports The Village at Market Creek, a future sustainable community emerging in the Diamond Neighborhoods, an underserved, brownfields-impacted area in the center of an economically distressed, highly diverse community of 84,300 residents located in southeastern San Diego.

Centered around a major transit hub, The Village will eventually transform over 60 acres of blighted land into productive use, replace substandard housing with approximately 1,000 quality affordable homes, and restore nearly 5,500 linear feet of wetlands. Over 1.6 million square feet of new construction will bring more than $300 million in contracts to the community, attracting over 250 new businesses and creating 2,000 jobs.

Today’s award is part of the nationwide funding of over $76 million in brownfields grants to communities in 40 states and 3 tribes. The funding will be used to investigate and clean up brownfields properties, including abandoned gas stations, old textile mills, closed smelters, and other abandoned industrial and commercial properties.

The brownfields program encourages redevelopment of America’s estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites. As of March 2011, EPA’s brownfields assistance has leveraged more than $16.3 billion in cleanup and redevelopment funding, and 68,900 jobs in cleanup, construction, and redevelopment. These investments and jobs target local, under-served and economically disadvantaged neighborhoods – places where environmental cleanups and new jobs are most needed. Cleaning up our communities is one of EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson’s priorities, which leads not only to health and environmental benefits but also economic development and prosperity.

Since the beginning of the brownfields program in 1995, EPA has awarded 1,895 assessment grants totaling $447.6 million, 279 revolving loan fund grants totaling more than $273.1 million, and 752 cleanup grants totaling $140.8 million.

The $3,000, 000 awarded to California will be distributed as follows: Brea Redevelopment Agency, $1,000,000; Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency, $200,000; Los Angeles, community-wide assessment, $400,000, Fresno Redevelopment Agency, $400,000, East Palo Alto Redevelopment Agency, $200,000; Mt. Shasta, community-wide assessment, $400,000.

More information on the FY 2011 grant recipients: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/

More information on EPA’s brownfields program: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/

Brownfields success stories: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/success/index.htm

Original article can be found at http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0/8D462D9970F28FA7852578A8007DA2C4

The Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation is a non-profit foundation that operates on the premise that residents must own and drive the change that takes place in their community for it to be meaningful and long-lasting. JCNI explores new pathways to change through entrepreneurial relationships, hands-on training, and the creative investment of resources.