SH applies for brownfield assessment grant funds

The long history of oil production in Signal Hill has created many properties throughout the community that can be defined as brownfields, which are properties whose reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.
The City of Signal Hill is applying for brownfield assessment grant funds from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) to help address “unknowns” regarding brownfield properties. Environmental site assessments are performed to identify the existence of and extent of contamination on a property and the potential costs involved to make a site suitable for development.
In September 2000, the city was awarded $250,000 in brownfields assessment grant funds. Funds were used to assess the new Mercedes-Benz of Long Beach site and the Las Brisas Housing Rehabilitation site. Methane, pesticides and petroleum hydrocarbons such as oil and diesel fuel were found throughout the Mercedes-Benz site, and appropriate mitigation measures were followed. The Las Brisas site assessment showed no significant issues which enabled the County of Los Angeles to contribute $2,000,000 to the project.
In July 2004, the city was awarded $400,000 in brownfields assessment grant funds. Funds were used to assess the second phase of the Las Brisas Neighborhood Revitalization Project as well as commercial sites near Walnut Avenue and East Spring Street, and California Avenue and East 27th Street. Additionally, funds were used to assess potential locations for the new police facility. When contaminants were identified, such as methane and petroleum hydrocarbons, appropriate mitigation measures were implemented. These funds assisted the city in its ongoing efforts to develop additional low-income housing and redevelop unproductive properties.
The city’s grant application is due to the USEPA on Oct. 12. For more information, contact Ken Farfsing at (562) 989-7302.

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