National and regional EPA officials will visit Lincoln, Neb., on Wednesday, June 5, to present $400,000 in EPA Brownfields grants to representatives of the West Haymarket Joint Public Agency. These grants will provide key funding for the cleanup of hazardous substances at two former commercial properties that will be revitalized as part of Lincoln's West Haymarket Redevelopment Project.
The two grants, totaling $400,000, are part of more than $4.5 million in funding provided to nine cities and two state agencies in EPA Region 7 by EPA's Brownfields Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund and Cleanup (ARC) Grants program.
EPA officials will make a ceremonial grants presentation to representatives of the West Haymarket JPA at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 5, at Iron Horse Park, at 7th and Q Streets, in Lincoln.
The West Haymarket JPA, a governmental agency formed by the City of Lincoln and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, will use the funds to clean up hazardous substances at the former Scrap Metal Recycling Facility at 550 N Street, and the Jaylynn Former Manufactured Gas Plant and Lumber Yard at 660 N Street.
The former scrap metal recycling facility also has been used for bulk oil storage and railroad operations, and is contaminated with volatile organic compounds, heavy metals, and PCBs. The former manufactured gas plant site also has been used as a lumber yard and scrap metal recycling facility, and is contaminated with volatile organic compounds and heavy metals.
The West Haymarket Redevelopment Project encompasses 400 acres of blighted and underutilized property that lies on the western edge of Lincoln's downtown and Haymarket district. Centered around the new 16,000-seat multi-purpose Pinnacle Bank Arena, which is scheduled to open this fall, the project will also include new hotels, a community plaza, and retail, office and residential space.
EPA's Brownfields ARC Grants target areas of communities where environmental cleanups and new jobs are most needed to facilitate redevelopment. Communities like Lincoln use ARC Grants to conduct environmental assessments, cleanup planning, cleanups and community outreach.
Brownfields are defined as those properties whose expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. Brownfields sites include all "real property," including residential, commercial and industrial properties. It is estimated that there are more than 450,000 brownfields in the U.S. Cleaning up and reinvesting in these properties increases local tax bases, facilitates job growth, utilizes existing infrastructure, takes development pressures off of undeveloped, open land, and both improves and protects the environment.