Informational meeting about U.S. EPA Brownfields funding awarded to Grass Valley | TheUnion.com

Informational meeting about U.S. EPA Brownfields funding awarded to Grass Valley

Submitted to The Union

The nearly $600,000 grant, awarded by the United States Environmental Protection Agency to Grass Valley in 2017, will go toward assessing properties impacted by historic mining activity for the presence of contamination, and preparing plans to clean up sites where contamination is identified.

The cities of Grass Valley and Nevada City have been extremely successful in attracting federal funding to investigate underutilized properties for the presence of contaminants as a step in moving these lands toward sustainable reuse and redevelopment.

Now they are teaming up with Nevada County under a new Brownfields Assessment Grant, awarded to Grass Valley in 2017 by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The nearly $600,000 grant will go toward assessing properties impacted by historic mining activity for the presence of contamination, and preparing plans to clean up sites where contamination is identified.

Grass Valley, who received the grant funding, is partnering with Nevada City and Nevada County to form the Gold Country Coalition, in order to enhance local agency collaboration to achieve regional Brownfields redevelopment goals. The Coalition provides a forum in which the partners can align redevelopment strategies, leverage funding and develop a road map for land revitalization.

Learn more about the grant and the Brownfields program at a free, informational meeting from 6-7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the City Hall Council Chambers at 125 East Main St. in downtown Grass Valley.

The conversation will be centered around what has been accomplished by previous Brownfields grants awarded to Grass Valley, and how the Coalition is leveraging those outcomes toward the goals of the current grant.

The public meeting will kick off with a welcome by Grass Valley Mayor Howard Levine and will feature presentations by Grass Valley's Community Development Director Tom Last and the project manager, Jason Muir of NV5 – Holdrege & Kull. There will be ample opportunity for the public to ask questions about the project and offer input on the sites that will be selected for environmental assessment.

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Brownfields grants like this one are a boon for the region. They provide funding to inventory if, where and how much contamination is present from past industrial activity, such as gold mining and lumber milling.

In addition, they support the preparation of plans to clean up impacted lands, which results in public benefits including reduced exposure risk and redevelopment opportunities that can boost the local economy and create jobs.

Interested community members are encouraged to come learn about these benefits, and specific project activities, at the Wednesday informational meeting.

If you have questions about the public meeting, contact Kelsey Westfall of The Sierra Fund, at 530-265-8454 x217.

For more information about the U.S. EPA Brownfields Grant, contact Tom Last, City of Grass Valley, at 530-274-4711.

Know & Go

WHAT: Free community meeting about Brownfields funding awarded to the City of Grass Valley

WHEN: 6-7:30 p.m. Wednesday

WHERE: City Hall Council Chambers, 125 E. Main Street, Grass Valley

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