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Rep. Barragán Secures $500,000 in EPA Funding to Revitalize Carson Brownfield Sites


20 May 2024

Contact: Kevin G. McGuire, 202-538-2386 (mobile)

Long Beach, CA – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced $3 million in grants from President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to expedite the assessment and cleanup of so-called brownfield sites in southern California, including the City of Carson in Congresswoman Nanette Barragán’s (CA-44) Congressional district. Brownfield sites are contaminated properties that often constitute blight on a community. This historic investment from EPA’s Brownfields Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup (MAC) Grant Program, funded by the Infrastructure Law that Barragán helped pass, will help turn contaminated, vacant properties into community assets and create rewarding jobs, fostering economic revitalization in overburdened communities.

The City of Carson will receive a $500,000 Brownfields Community-Wide Assessment Grant to conduct community engagement activities and identify and prioritize sites in three census tracts. Sites that will be prioritized have been disproportionally burdened by climate change, pollution, and a lack of access to quality healthcare, affordable and reliable energy, housing, transportation, clean water, effective wastewater systems, and/or problematic workforce development.  Two high-priority sites are a former gas station and a former landfill site now used as an automobile auction facility.  The grant will also be used to complete environmental site assessments, develop cleanup alternative evaluations, and conduct visioning sessions.

EPA selected the City of Carson, Orange County Council of Governments (OCCOG), and Orange County Transportation Authority to receive three grants totaling $3 million in competitive EPA Brownfields funding through the MAC Grant program.

“This is excellent news for Carson,” said Rep. Barragán. “Brownfield sites have long been a burden on our communities, and this funding will help to clean up these areas and revitalize them into thriving community assets that help attract jobs and enhance the quality of life for residents. I want to thank the EPA and the Biden-Harris Administration for working with Democrats in Congress to pass the Infrastructure Law, which invested $1.5 billion into the Brownfields program.”

“With this historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding, the EPA is helping California transform polluted, abandoned sites into thriving community assets,” said U.S. EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Martha Guzman, “These grants will not only provide resources to communities seeking to revitalize, but also provide stable, good-paying jobs in areas that have faced underinvestment for far too long.” 

“Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we are transforming overburdened, economically stressed communities by cleaning up and revitalizing polluted and underused brownfield lands,” said Senator Alex Padilla. “These investments in Orange County and the City of Carson will create good-paying green jobs, foster sustainable economic development, and help address environmental and health care challenges that have persistently hurt disadvantaged communities in Southern California.”

“I applaud President Biden and the Environmental Protection Agency’s commitment to revitalizing communities adversely impacted by contamination and waste across southern California,” said Senator Laphonza Butler. “These federal dollars will enable us to clean up abandoned lots polluting the environment and restore communities, all while creating jobs and opportunity for the entire region.”

“Our families have the right to live in safe, unpolluted, and uncontaminated communities. Under the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which I was proud to support in Congress, the Environmental Protection Agency can invest $2.5 million of our federal tax dollars towards expediting environmental cleanup in Orange County,” said Rep Luis Correa. “With these community-wide grants, we are undoing harmful pollution, revitalizing our communities, and creating stable, well-paying, and rewarding jobs for the families who need it most.”

“The City of Carson is deeply honored to receive the Community-Wide Assessment grant,” said the City of Carson Mayor Lula Davis-Holmes. “As a community of nearly 100,000 residents, Carson has a long history of environmental justice issues, and while we have made strides in addressing these challenges, we remain acutely aware of the work ahead. Our newly adopted Economic Development Strategic Plan codified our commitment to becoming a national brownfield remediation and redevelopment leader, and this EPA funding reaffirms our commitment to environmental justice, strategic economic development, and creating a healthier, more equitable future.

“OCCOG is grateful for the award of this $1.5 million US EPA Brownfield Coalition Grant,” said OCCOG Executive Director Marnie O’Brien Primmer. “The funds provided will allow OCCOG and our partners at the Cities of Orange, Santa Ana, and Garden Grove and our nonprofit partner at NeighborWorks OC to conduct Brownfield Inventories, Stakeholder Engagement, Phase I/II Environmental Site Assessments, Regulated Building Materials Surveys, Site-Specific Reuse Planning, and Area-Wide Planning all aimed at cleaning up contaminated sites and promoting a vibrant community here in Orange County.”

See a full breakdown of the funding by EPA here.

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Congressmember Nanette Barragán represents California’s 44th District.  She sits on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and works on environmental justice and healthcare issues.  She is also Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC).