The Eugene Brownfields Coalition is inviting local residents, business owners, and community organizations to learn about how the City is working to revitalize local brownfields. An Open House will take place on Thursday, December 1, from 2 to6 pm at the Daydream Island Room at Echo Hollow Pool, located at 1655 Echo Hollow Rd. in Eugene. City staff and technical experts will be on hand to answer questions about the Brownfields Program and to talk about redevelopment opportunities in the region that may be eligible for funding.
A brownfield is a site that is perceived to have potential contamination issues, but in reality the site may or may not have any environmental contamination. Because the property owner may be unsure about contamination and potential liabilities, many of these sites are left‘under-developed’. A brownfield site is often a vacant lot, a vacant building,or a lot with only a small built structure on it. They are considered under-developed because they could be providing more to the community if they were redeveloped into parks, housing, or businesses. As an under-developed site, a brownfield can be an eyesore and a safety hazard. If redeveloped, the site could bring value to the neighborhood and the community.
The first step to turning a brownfield into a productive use is an environmental assessment, which determines how much contamination is present,if any. By providing funding for an assessment, the Eugene Brownfields Coalition can help property owners better understand whether there are actual environmental issues on the site, and connect them to tools for cleanup and redevelopment. Assessment is a key step in removing barriers to redevelopment and enhancing public health and community livability.
The Eugene Brownfields Coalition consists of the Cities of Eugene and Springfield, and Lane County. The Coalition received a Brownfields Assessment Grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2013. Since then, the Coalition has created an inventory of 400 brownfield opportunity sites, conducted environmental assessments of 15 properties, and planned for redevelopment of brownfields into new housing, commercial uses, and public spaces. This fall, the Coalition is applying for renewal of these EPA funds to continue and build on our revitalization momentum.
For more information on our Brownfields program, please visit www.brownfieldscoalition.org.