Reno Gets Funds to Clean Polluted `Brownfield' Site

City of Reno, Nevada
By  | 

Reno gets $200,000 to clean up polluted `brownfield' site

The Reno Redevelopment Agency will get a $200,000 federal grant to clean up pollution at the former site of an auto repair shop, the Environmental Protection Agency said.

The grant is among the first to be awarded under a federal act signed into law by President Bush in January 2002. It's designed to restore low-level pollution sites known as "brownfields."

"These grants will help turn neighborhood eyesores into community assets, restoring hope and creating opportunity for people who live nearby," said EPA Administrator Christie Whitman.

Soil and groundwater at the Sage Motel site formerly used by the auto shop are contaminated with tetrachloroethylene, a known carcinogen widely used as a degreaser.

Reno city spokeswoman Sharon Spangler said she was unfamiliar with the issue and no city officials were available to discuss it Sunday.

The legislation authorizes up to $250 million per year for brownfields grants, including up to $50 million for assessment and cleanup of low-risk petroleum contaminated sites.

"The Brownfields Act recognizes that cleanup money is needed to help restore abandoned properties back into productive use by providing local jobs, needed tax revenues and recreational benefits that have been lost," said Wayne Nastri, EPA regional administrator based in San Francisco.

The money going to the Reno agency is part of $73.1 million being awarded nationally and $7.9 million awarded regionally to clean up such sites.

The legislation also helps protect cities and businesses from lawsuits as they seek to develop brownfield sites.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)