Carson City has received $400,000 in Environmental Protection Agency grants intended to address potential contamination issues within the city's redevelopment districts.
The Brownfields assessment grants will provide $200,000 for investigating hazardous substances and $200,000 for assessing petroleum contamination on targeted commercial properties within the redevelopment districts, said Marvin Tebeau, a principal in charge of environmental issues with Resource Concepts, Inc.
According to the EPA, brownfields are properties whose "expansion, redevelopment or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant."
In Carson City's case, Tebeau estimates initial environmental assessments could be conducted on 15 properties, which might have been contaminated at some point by a commercial enterprise such as a gas station, paint shop or dry cleaners. Vacant buildings could also be studied for contamination from lead-based paint or asbestos, Tebeau said.
When someone wants to buy or develop a commercial or industrial property, the lending institution usually wants to know what environmental liabilities may be present, he said.
After the initial assessments, Tebeau said there likely will be five sites selected for collecting soil and groundwater samples and lab analyses.
"There won't be any pressure by government entities," he said. "There will be a lot of scheduling latitude to remediate the contamination."
According to the eligibility criteria for the program, "private entities investing private capital are primary beneficiaries of program dollars. However, on a case-by-case basis, funds may be used by a local unit of government if the proposed public project demonstrates economic impact benefiting the community."
The criteria also stipulates that "proposed projects need to demonstrate the potential for capital investments, facilitate new or retained jobs and increase tax revenues."
The Carson City Brownfields Grant Program Workplan will be presented to the Redevelopment Authority Citizens Committee at
5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Sierra Room of the Carson City Community Center, 851 E. William St.
At the kick-off meeting, the EPA Brownfields Grant Program and the locally retained consultants: Geocon Consultants, Inc. and Resource Concepts, Inc. will be introduced. The meeting also will include an introduction to the potential project areas within Carson City.
RCI is providing the outreach and phase 1 work. Brownfields information will be posted on the city's website at www.carson.org.
For more information, call Marvin Tebeau at RCI, 883-1600.