EPA Selects University District For Brownsfields Assessment Grant

Marlene Feist, 509.625.6505

Wednesday, June 5, 2019 at 3:02 p.m.

The City of Spokane learned today that Spokane’s University District was selected for a $600,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to assess possible brownfield sites to determine cleanup needs that will allow for redevelopment.

A coalition of partners worked together to seek the grant, including the University District Development Association, WSU Health Sciences Spokane, Gonzaga University, and the Empire Health Foundation, along with the City. More information on the EPA grant is found on their national web site with greater detail on the Region 10 web site. Spokane is within Region 10. An EPA fact sheet on the City’s award is attached.

Leaders from the partner organizations are reacting to the news:

“Our City of Spokane joint Strategic Plan, One Spokane, focuses on initiatives and programs that help create a safer, healthier and smarter City. This brownfields grant advances those goals. For this project, we have created an incredible community partnership that’s committed to strengthening the University District by assisting private property owners. We are thankful that the EPA recognized this potential.”

—Spokane Mayor David Condon

“Gonzaga University has been committed to strengthening this community for over a century and we are grateful to the EPA for a powerful tool to help address long-standing brownfields in the University District,” said Chuck Murphy, Gonzaga’s Chief Strategy Officer. “Helping property owners who don’t have the resources or experience to identify, assess, and remediate contamination is vital to advancing development plans, as well as the overall health and well-being of our neighbors and the District.”

—Chuck Murphy, Chief Strategy Officer, Gonzaga University

“The importance of community wellness cannot be underestimated and we appreciate the EPA’s commitment to support and address conditions that affect the environment, public health, and socioeconomics. This grant to the University District Coalition partners will spark outreach around equity, health and economic prosperity.”

—Antony Chiang, President, Empire Health Foundation

“The University District is committed to creating a vibrant place where business and education grow together. Real and perceived contamination has been a barrier to our work and we are ecstatic for this EPA Coalition grant. This creates opportunities for small businesses and property owners that have invested in this community for generations as well as anyone that lives, learns, works, and plays in the District.”

—Lars Gilberts, CEO, University District Development Association

“The cleanup of the WSU Health Sciences Spokane campus was possible because of an engaged community and we are excited to be part of helping others redevelop their distressed and underutilized properties. Tremendous thanks to the EPA for supporting the University District Coalition members as we seek to build a healthy community that is also a globally-recognized hub of education, innovation, research, health-care and job growth.”

—Daryll DeWald, Chancellor, WSU Health Sciences Spokane

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