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EPA awards Salt Lake County $1M for property assessment, cleanup and revitalization in Magna Township

Salt Lake City—The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is awarding two Brownfields grants to Salt Lake City-area partners to assess, clean up and revitalize properties in Salt Lake City. The Salt Lake City Corporation will use $495,200 in Brownfields funding to clean up the former Schovaers Electronics site and Salt Lake County will use a $1 million grant for assessment and cleanup projects in Magna Township.  

“Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County continue to deliver high-value property cleanup and redevelopment projects with EPA Brownfields grants,” said EPA Regional Administrator KC Becker. “We look forward to seeing these funds transform blighted sites into new community assets.”  

These EPA funds are part of President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda to expedite the assessment and cleanup of brownfield sites while advancing environmental justice through the Multipurpose, Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup (MARC) Grant programs. Thanks to the historic boost from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, this funding is the largest ever awarded by EPA’s Brownfields MARC Grant programs.  

The Salt Lake City Corporation will use its EPA grant to clean up the 0.34-acre former Schovaers Electronics site at 22 South Jeremy Street. The site was formerly used as an electrical supply company, electroplating facility and appliance repair shop and is contaminated with heavy metals and volatile organic compounds. Specific contaminants of concern include trichloroethene and hexavalent chromium in soil and groundwater likely due to seepage from the facility and off-site sources. The cleanup will allow the site to complement the new Folsom Trail with trail-oriented commercial space. The trail is a paved multiuse path that will ultimately connect downtown Salt Lake City with the 45-mile Jordan River Parkway trail.  

Former Schovaers site in Salt Lake City
Former Schovaers site in Salt Lake City

“This EPA grant signifies a major step in Salt Lake City’s efforts to revitalize this westside corridor,” said Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall. “By tapping into the federal Brownfields program, the Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake City has greatly boosted its ability to activate the pedestrian-oriented Folsom Trail while addressing the community health and environmental impacts of this land’s long history of heavy industrial activity and proximity to major transportation corridors. The planned adaptive reuse of the Schovaers Electronics building is key to the RDA’s overarching revitalization work in the North Temple neighborhood to establish small-scale, trail-oriented and affordable commercial space for local, independent businesses and nonprofit organizations. Having a federal program like Brownfields available to provide crucial funding to help safely rebuild neighborhoods is an invaluable resource for municipalities big and small.”    

EPA has also selected Salt Lake County to lead a $1 million Brownfields Assessment Coalition grant, funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, to develop environmental assessments and cleanup plans at more than 20 high-priority sites in Magna Township. The focus of these projects will be Main Street Corridor, the Guadalupe neighborhood and the Poplar Grove intersection, including former auto repair shops, a former dry cleaner, an abandoned commercial building and other vacant properties. Contaminants of concern include asbestos, lead, metals, petroleum hydrocarbons and drycleaning solvents. Potential reuse of these sites includes plans for affordable housing, retail and commercial spaces. The county’s partners include Magna Township and NeighborWorks Salt Lake.  

“Salt Lake County is making good on its commitment to clean up our environment and we are grateful for the EPA’s support,” said Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson. “These funds will allow us to assess contamination and clear the path for meaningful redevelopment – making the county safer and healthier for all residents.”  

Background  

Thanks to the historic $1.5 billion boost from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, EPA’s Brownfields Program is helping more communities than ever begin to address the economic, social and environmental challenges caused by brownfields and stimulate economic opportunity and environmental revitalization in historically overburdened communities.  

EPA’s Brownfields Program also advances President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative to direct 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments to disadvantaged communities. Approximately 84% of the MARC program applications selected to receive funding proposed to work in areas that include historically underserved communities. 

EPA’s Brownfields Program began in 1995 and has provided nearly $2.37 billion in Brownfield Grants to assess and clean up contaminated properties and return blighted properties to productive reuse. EPA’s investments in addressing brownfield sites have leveraged more than $36 billion in cleanup and redevelopment. Communities that previously received Brownfields Grants used these resources to fund assessments and cleanups of brownfields, and successfully leverage an average of 10.6 jobs per $100,000 of grant funds spent and $19.78 for every dollar. 

More on Brownfields Grants.   

More on EPA’s Brownfields Program.