The Port of Tacoma has been selected to receive a $500,000 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Brownfields Assessment Grant to assist in efforts to bring brownfields and other high-priority sites within the Tacoma Tideflats back into productive use with new businesses and family-wage jobs.
“We are extremely grateful to the EPA and also want to thank the Washington State Department of Ecology for their support in securing this grant for the Port,” said Don Meyer, Port of Tacoma Commission President.
The EPA grant funding will allow the Port to complete eight Phase 1 and Phase 2 Environmental Assessments, develop cleanup/reuse plans on five high-priority brownfields, and support community engagement efforts around these projects. Targeted brownfields in the Tideflats are vacant and/or underutilized industrial sites with suspected contamination from past operations ranging from shipbuilding to chemical manufacturing.
“Bringing these brownfields back into productive use is critical for the economic health of the Port and our region,” added Meyer. “Tacoma’s demand for industrial space continues to exceed supply and preparing brownfields for reuse will help fill that need and will also leverage the Port’s multiplier effect on job creation, with the potential to bring thousands of new jobs into the Tideflats.”
The sites and brownfields in the Port’s plan are surrounded by shoreline and tidal channels that present valuable opportunities to incorporate habitat restoration into brownfield redevelopment. Reuse plans will also include creation of public access greenspaces within the area. Since the 1980s, the Port has helped restore 21 habitat sites in the Tideflats, totaling 215 acres.
The Port expects to begin work on Environmental Assessments before the end of this year.
More information on the Port’s environmental programs can be found at: www.portoftacoma.com/environmental.
EPA's Brownfields Program empowers stakeholders to work together to prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse brownfields. For more information: www.epa.gov/brownfields.