EPA's Brownfields Program empowers states, communities, and other stakeholders to work together to prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse brownfield sites. A brownfield site is 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. The Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act of 2002, as amended by the Brownfields Utilization, Investment and Local Development Act of 2018, was passed to help states and communities around the country clean up and revitalize brownfield sites. Under this law, EPA provides financial assistance to eligible applicants through five competitive grant programs: Multipurpose Grants, Assessment Grants, Revolving Loan Fund Grants, Cleanup Grants, and Job Training Grants. Additionally, funding support is provided to state and tribal response programs through a separate mechanism.
EPA has selected the East County Economic Development Council Foundation for a Brownfields Assessment Grant. Community-wide grant funds will be used to conduct 11 Phase I and six Phase II environmental site assessments. Grant funds also will be used to inventory sites, prepare five cleanup plans, and conduct community engagement activities including the development of a Community Involvement Plan. The target area for this grant is the 1.4-square-mile El Cajon Opportunity Zone Corridor. Priority sites include a 1.1-acre former commercial and lumber operation; a 3.06-acre former ice house, lumber operation, and garage; and several sites formerly used for auto repair centers, a dry cleaner, a gas station, and a current restaurant and motel.