Final Report: Technical Outreach Services for Communities Support

EPA Grant Number: R829483
Center: HSRC (2001) - Western Region Hazardous Substance Research Center for Developing In-Situ Processes for VOC Remediation in Groundwater and Soils
Center Director: Semprini, Lewis
Title: Technical Outreach Services for Communities Support
Investigators: Williamson, Kenneth J. , Fernandez, Michael , Harding, Anna K. , Kassim, Tarek , Orlando, Jerry , Sanford, Stephanie
Institution: Oregon State University
EPA Project Officer: Lasat, Mitch
Project Period: September 1, 2001 through August 31, 2007
Project Amount: $381,918
RFA: Hazardous Substance Research Centers - HSRC (2001) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Hazardous Waste/Remediation , Land and Waste Management


The Western TAB program provided assistance to communities attempting to address cleanup and redevelopment of properties whose reuse has been prevented by real or perceived contamination. The TAB program made use of the same faculty, consultant, and research assistant staff as those involved in the TOSC program. TAB attempted to improve involvement of all affected parties in cleanup and redevelopment process through education and training, meeting facilitation, and access to resources supporting redevelopment efforts. TAB also attempted to accelerate the redevelopment process through the application of HSRC and other research.

Summary/Accomplishments (Outputs/Outcomes):


The Western TAB team provided interested community groups with technical information and assistance to encourage early and meaningful public participation in decisions that affect not only redevelopment of brownfields but also community economic well-being, health, and overall welfare. The TAB program provided viable alternative assistance for communities that did not qualify for a brownfields grants or other financial assistance from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or other funding sources.


The Western Region’s outreach program was one of five nationally instituted community outreach programs. Centered at Oregon State University, the TAB team consisted of university faculty and graduate students, as well as contracted environmental professionals with specialization in environmental engineering, risk communication, public health, information transfer, environmental justice, urban planning and redevelopment, and community relations. The Western Center TAB team provided assistance to local government and community groups. The team provided communities with technical assistance related to understanding the effects of environmental contaminants on the cleanup and redevelopment of sites. Assistance included support of community involvement activities, technical assistance with site investigation and cleanup, identification of other financial or technical resources, and other mutually agreed upon activities. Where appropriate, WR TAB partnered with staff of the Technical Outreach Services for Native American Communities (TOSNAC) to provide assistance to tribal communities.

The TAB team also attempted to engage redevelopment professionals through two day conferences presented in partnership with private sector entities and state and local government organizations.

Proposed Activities

The Western TAB team proposed to conduct education and training, technical assistance, community involvement, state and local program development, and resource and information brokering as its primary activities.

TAB Activities and Communities Served

EPA Region 10


Community: City of Astoria
Site: Former gasification plant
Overview of TAB Assistance: Visited the community and provided the grantee with information on how to write an RFP for environmental services.

Community: Clackamas County
Overview of TAB Assistance: Assisted the County in its community outreach and education program.

Community: Eliot Neighborhood
Overview of TAB Assistance: Prepared a summary of the cleanup activities undertaken at the site after demolition and presented the summary at a community meeting.

Community: Oregon Brownfields Conference
Overview of TAB Assistance: Acted as an organizing partner and as a resource to the Oregon Brownfields Conference.

Community: Oregon DEQ Brownfields Program
Overview of TAB Assistance: Acted as a resource to the ODEQ brownfields program. Attended quarterly networking meetings.

Community: Portland Development Commission
Site: South Waterfront/ North Macadam
Overview of TAB Assistance: Attended neighborhood meetings; reviewed and commented on an RFP prepared by PDC for a previous EPA assessment grant project in Portland. TAB also brought together PDC staff and a consultant whose unique services were beneficial to the project.

Community: Portland Showcase, Portland
Overview of TAB Assistance: Invited the Showcase to participate in the Oregon Brownfields Conference planning process as a means of facilitating achievement of their community outreach goals. Prepared "master" site cleanup fact sheet; evaluated current state/federal interagency workgroup for opportunities to expand and build improved partnerships; reviewed existing Showcase Program web links and suggested improvements and additions; recommended 10-12 essential brownfields library documents; evaluated the existing Regulatory Innovation Action Plan and suggested how to build upon DEQ reforms; evaluated implications of the Endangered Species Act.

Community: Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, St. Helens
Overview of TAB Assistance: Attended weekly meetings and provided support at several presentations before various civic groups, iincluding the League of Women Voters and Kiwanis Club; helped plan and hold an open house to showcase a major site to developers; helped this group expand their brownfields inventory and promotional efforts.


Community: City of Spokane
Overview of TAB Assistance: Helped produce surveys and conduct a workshop to assist in the selection and prioritization of brownfield sites within the areas specified in the grant.


Community: Idaho Department of Environmental Quality
Overview of TAB Assistance: Participated in the training of 4 volunteers in Sandpoint, Idaho to build a brownfields inventory for the small adjacent cities of Sandpoint, Kootenai, Dover and Ponderay.
EPA Region 9


Community: Organization: Arizona Department of Environmental Quality
Overview of TAB Assistance: Met with the grant writing team and the city officials to discuss strategy for writing a grant and reviewed a draft they had prepared.


Community: Brisbane Baylands Community Advisory Group
Overview of TAB Assistance: Reviewed leachate management plan submitted by the landowner and provided comments to the CAG.

Community: Lula Washington Dance Theatre (Los Angeles, CA)
Overview of TAB Assistance: Worked with the grantee, the EPA and the environmental consultant performing the work in designing and implementing a community outreach program. Created a flyer, made presentations before neighborhood groups and assisted with an Open House for the community.

Community: Richmond Redevelopment Agency
Overview of TAB Assistance: Helped gauge interest in a specific brownfields project through community contact, assisted in conducting community meetings, and helped write a community relations plan.

Community: Richmond Southeast Shoreline Area (RSSA) CAG, Richmond
Overview of TAB Assistance: Met with this CAG several times to discuss their concerns and TAB’s assistance; assisted the CAG with questions about environmental policy, remediation and other issues surrounding the site under their purview.

Community: Susanville Indian Rancheria
Overview of TAB Assistance: Worked with TOSNAC to provide information and assistance to the tribe in its efforts to redevelop a brownfield site on the rancheria.


Community: Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP)
Overview of TAB Assistance: Met with NDEP to discuss helping plan and present a rural brownfields conference; participated in and facilitated a session of the first rural brownfields conference.

Conference Planning and Sponsorship (October 2001-August 2007)

Oregon Rural Brownfields Conference, Bend, Oregon; October 2001
Oregon Rural Brownfields Conference, Bend, Oregon; September 2002
EPA National Brownfields Conference, Portland, Oregon; October 2003
Oregon Brownfields Conference: “Putting Brownfields Back to Work,” Portland, Oregon; August 2005
Oregon Brownfields Conference, Salem, Oregon; March 2007


The Western TAB team was able to provide assistance to numerous communities throughout its five years of existence. This assistance consisted of technical and community involvement support, program development, and sponsorship and planning of brownfields redevelopment conferences. This assistance helped inspire and facilitate redevelopment of numerous brownfields properties, provide information and training to local redevelopment professionals and community members, and provided valuable networking opportunities for both community representatives and local and state government staff.

Supplemental Keywords:

brownfields conferences, charrettes, community involvement, institutional controls, site cleanup, vapor intrusion,, RFA, Scientific Discipline, INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION, Geographic Area, Waste, Water, POLLUTANTS/TOXICS, Contaminated Sediments, Remediation, Environmental Chemistry, Chemicals, Brownfields, Hazardous Waste, Ecology and Ecosystems, Drinking Water, Hazardous, Environmental Engineering, EPA Region, Region 9, brownfield sites, chemical wastes, contaminated sites, NAPL, other - risk assessment, contaminated sediment, risk assessment , remediation technologies, VOCs, Brownfield site, contaminated soil, bioremediation of soils, biotransformation, other - risk management, phytoremediation, technology transfer, outreach and education, drinking water contaminants, Region 10, drinking water treatment, bioremediation, chlorinated solvents

Progress and Final Reports:

Original Abstract
  • 2002
  • 2003
  • 2004
  • 2005
  • 2006