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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. In 2002, the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act was passed to help states and communities around the country cleanup and revitalize brownfields sites. Under this 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 Grants

$200,000 for hazardous substances
$200,000 for petroleum

EPA has selected the City of Ellensburg for two brownfields assessment grants. Community-wide hazardous substances grant funds will be used to identify brownfield sites and conduct 10 Phase I and four Phase II environmental site assessments. Grant funds also will be used to conduct 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 Ellensburg was selected to receive two brownfields assessment grants. Located in central Washington, Ellensburg (population 17,230) became a hub of commerce and transportation in 1886 after the arrival of the Northern Pacific Railroad. More than a century of industrial activity has resulted in an estimated 10 to 20 brownfield sites in the city, including former mills, and chemical manufacturing and agricultural supply businesses. Many identified brownfields border the Yakima River and the six tributaries that run through and under the city, raising concerns about potential water contamination. More than 34 percent of Ellensburg's residents live below the poverty level, and the city has a significantly lower median household income than the statewide average. Brownfield assessments are expected to help the city identify cleanup activities needed to remove potential sources of contamination and redevelop sites to provide affordable housing in the community.


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 10 Brownfields Team
EPA Region 10 Brownfields Web site (https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/brownfields-and-land-revitalization-washington-idaho-oregon-and-alaska)

Grant Recipient: City of Ellensburg, WA

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.

EPA 560-F-128-128
May 2011
United States
Protection Agency
Washington, D.C. 20460
Solid Waste
and Emergency
Response (5105T)

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