EPA Brownfields Grant
EPA Brownfields Assessment Grants
In 2014, the City of Oskaloosa received a $200,000 Brownfields Hazardous Substances Assessment Grant and a $200,000 Brownfields Petroleum Assessment Grant (EPA program code BF-97746201-1). Oskaloosa was the only community in Iowa, and one of three in EPA Region 7, to receive an Assessment Grant that year. These funds allow the City to inventory, characterize, assess, and conduct cleanup planning on brownfield sites.
In order to help administer these grants, the City hired the environmental services consulting firm HR Green Inc. They will assist city staff with community outreach activities and perform the environmental site assessments (ESAs). All consultant work is fully funded by the EPA Brownfields Grants. The brownfields project period will expire on September 30, 2018.
What is a Brownfield?
Brownfields are defined by the EPA as "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." Contamination may or may not be present; perception alone is enough to be classified as a brownfield! The EPA estimates that there are over 450,000 brownfield sites in the United States.
Brownfields typically consist of underutilized or abandoned properties. These properties may have been or are currently gas stations, dry cleaners, auto repair shops, industrial manufacturers, warehouses, service stations, landfills, and mine scarred land. Clearing brownfields of environmental stigmas will promote redevelopment and help our neighborhoods remain vibrant and sustainable.
Benefits of Brownfields Redevelopment
- protects our health and environment
- facilitates job growth
- stems urban sprawl
- reuses existing infrastructure
- spurs redevelopment activities
- increases local tax base
- eliminates eyesores and safety hazards
- revitalizes neighborhoods
Get Informed and Stay Involved!
We want your input! Citizen participation is vital to ensuring the successful implementation of the Oskaloosa's Brownfields Grant Program. Community involvement provides city officials with an understanding of your needs. We can then incorporate your feedback into sustainable redevelopment that creates jobs and attracts new residents and businesses. The following are several ways to become engaged in the brownfields project:
1. The GIS Webportal
You can track the progress of this project on the City's webportal at:
This highly-interactive tool features a Geographic Information System (GIS) map that displays relevant brownfields project data. This date includes the sites targeted for investigation, sites with completed assessment activities, recognized environmental conditions, sampling locations, and environmental database records. All environmental investigation reports are also available for review or download.
2. Brownfields Brochure
The Brownfields Brochure (PDF) is an outreach tool designed to educate interested citizens on the EPA Brownfields Program. The brochure describes brownfields sites, provides information on the Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessment process, answers FAQs, and lists contacts for the project.
3. Citizen Comment Form
City staff and HR Green, Inc. have prepared a list of questions designed to solicit critical feedback from the community. Simply download the form: Citizen Comment Form (PDF), fill it out, and e-mail it to either Akhilesh Pal or Nate Willey. The City will then carefully consider all your feedback and address any concerns.
4. Outreach Meetings
The City will host several public meetings throughout the project period. You can hear about how the project is progressing, review environmental investigation findings, and ask questions or provide comments. The City will post notice of all public meetings several weeks in advance.
5. Document Depository
All project documents are available for public review at the Oskaloosa Public Works Department located at 804 South D Street in Oskaloosa during normal business hours (Monday-Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM).
Please contact Akhilesh Pal or Sean Murphy if you would like to get involved with the City of Oskaloosa's Brownfields redevelopment initiative. You can also view the Cooperative Agreement Work Plan for additional information on the project.
6. Helpful Links
EPA Brownfields website: Brownfields
Iowa DNR Brownfields website: Contaminated Sites
Environmental Consultant website: HR Green