EPA awards Oskaloosa $400K grant


Nick Fetty | August 12, 2014
Swans swim on a pond near Forest Cemetery in Oskaloosa. (Aaron McIntyre/Fickr)
Swans swim on a pond at Forest Cemetery in Oskaloosa. (Aaron McIntyre/Fickr)

The Iowa city of Oskaloosa has been awarded a $400,000 grant by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency which will be used to “to help eliminate waste and hazardous materials.”

The city was awarded the Brownfield Assessment Grant which aims “to empower states, communities, and other stakeholders to work together in a timely manner to prevent, assess, successfully clean up, and reuse brownfields.” Brownfields are properties, expansions, developments, or reuses which may be compromised by the presence or suspected presence of hazardous pollutants, substances, or other contaminants. Officials with the City of Oskaloosa will seek public input for determining the community’s most polluted sites.

The grant is broken down into two categories: $200,000 for hazardous substances and $200,000 for petroleum specifically. An EPA study found that the grant has helped to improve residential property values by 5.1 percent to 12.8 percent near brownfields that were assessed or cleaned up. Since June of 2013, Brownfield Assessment Grants have made nearly 45,000 acres of land available for reuse while also leveraging 97,500 jobs. Oskaloosa – a town of about 11,463 located roughly 60 miles southeast of Des Moines – was the only place in the state to apply for and be awarded this grant for the fiscal year.

For more information about this project, contact the Oskaloosa Public Works Department at 641-673-7472 or visit www.epa.gov/brownfields.

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