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DeFazio Announces $350,000 in Grant Funding for Coquille Indian Tribe Brownfield Assessment

May 6, 2020
Press Release

Rep. Peter DeFazio (OR-04) today announced the Coquille Indian Tribe has received $350,000 in federal grant funding from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to assess the Ko’Kwel Wharf Property as a possible brownfield location.

“The brownfields program has a proven record of success in transforming contaminated or otherwise unusable sites into a real positive for the environment and the community, and I am pleased the Coquille Indian Tribe has the opportunity to benefit from this program,” said DeFazio. “In 2013, the City of Eugene received a grant from the brownfields program and now the popular Ninkasi Brewing Company sits on the site of what was a former brownfield. I am hopeful that this funding for the Coquille Indian Tribe can replicate that success.”

DeFazio has long supported the brownfields program, and included a nearly $3 billion investment in brownfield cleanup in his Moving Forward Framework announced earlier this year.

Brownfields are defined as “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.”  Brownfields are, by definition, not contaminated to a level that would define them as potential Superfund sites. However, because of the presence or potential presence of hazardous substances on these sites, potentially responsible parties associated with brownfields sites may be liable for cleanup of the properties. 

Through the EPA’s Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup (ARC) Grant Programs, communities receive funding to study the site, determine if it is in fact contaminated, and may move forward with redeveloping the property. Brownfield restoration helps communities fix up these abandoned and contaminated properties for new use which can be huge drivers of economic growth for local communities and tribes.