LAND RECYCLING PROGRAM FOR PUBLICLY AND PRIVATELY OWNED PROPERTIES TO IMPROVE PROPERTY VALUE, ATTRACT INVESTMENT, AND CREATE JOBS
Bernalillo County has received a $600,000 brownfield assessment grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This grant, awarded in 2020, has a three-year term and will be used to contribute to the successful revitalization and reuse of ‘brownfield’ sites (properties which are vacant, blighted, or otherwise underutilized). The grant provides funding for environmental site assessments, regulated building materials surveys (asbestos and lead paint), site cleanup and reuse planning, and related activities at publicly and privately owned sites. Specific target areas in the South Valley include Bridge Boulevard, Rio Bravo Boulevard, and Broadway Boulevard. An overarching goal is to leverage grant funding to develop a sustainable brownfields revitalization program to continue to support site redevelopment projects that benefit Bernalillo County residents.
VISION: Revitalize vacant and underutilized (“Brownfield”) properties in the target areas described above and throughout the county. These efforts are intended to provide benefits to the community, including job creation, increased property values, environmental restoration, and reduced health risks.
MISSION: EPA Brownfield Assessment Grant funding is to inventory and prioritize Brownfield sites for redevelopment, assess existing site conditions, and plan for cleanup and reuse of priority sites in identified county target areas.
Guiding Principles for EPA Brownfield Assessment Grants:
- Prioritize use of grant funds for sites that will attract investors and become a catalyst for new employment opportunities and a sustainable job base.
- Promote infill development that maximizes use of existing space, infrastructure, and utilities.
- Remove redevelopment barriers by addressing unknown site conditions and creating shovel-ready sites.
- Invest in sites that will generate public and private revenue.
- Transform blighted areas into thriving neighborhoods.
- Protect public health and the environment.
- Promote public participation and input on priority redevelopment areas and sites.
WHAT ARE BROWNFIELDS?
Many of our communities have properties that are abandoned or underutilized because of suspected environmental contamination from past uses. These properties are commonly referred to as “Brownfields.”
Brownfield – noun. 1. 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. 2. abandoned or underutilized property that is not being redeveloped because of fears that it may be contaminated with hazardous substances.
Brownfield sites can be found in many different forms and may include derelict mills and factories, salvage yards and dump sites, former dry cleaners, old railyards and truck depots, former gas stations and other auto-related businesses, dilapidated and aging buildings, and other vacant and underutilized commercial and industrial properties.
Source: “Brownfields Program”