Everett to Study Contaminated Industrial Sites to Meet Demand For Future Growth

February 19, 2014

Everett, Everett Government

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Click to learn more about the Brownfield grants in Everett

Everett’s industrial past may be stalling its future as contaminated areas, known as brownfield sites, are keeping development from moving forward in some of the most desirable parts of the city. Today the City of Everett announced it has received grants of approximately $400,000.00 to study the city’s brownfields and come up with a plan to take back the contaminated land for use as residential and commercial development. Here are the preliminary details from Everett spokeswoman Meghan Pembroke…

With two recently awarded grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the city of Everett has taken the first steps to identify potentially contaminated properties and plan for redevelopment with commercial, industrial and residential uses.

The Brownfield Community-Wide Assessment Grants, totaling approximately $400,000, will fund environmental studies of key “brownfield” properties throughout the city to determine the extent of environmental rehabilitation necessary for planning, development and construction. The brownfield assessments will complement the city’s current efforts to update its comprehensive plan to accommodate significant additional population and job growth through 2035.

“Everett has a long history of industrial and commercial uses established before environmental standards were enacted,” said Mayor Ray Stephanson. “Many of the impacted properties are areas we hope to redevelop, but the unknown cleanup costs make it difficult for owners to plan for new uses. This project will help move these properties closer to a different, more vibrant future.”

A beginning, a history 

With an industrial legacy spanning more than 100 years, Everett has been significantly impacted by brownfields – vacant or underutilized properties where redevelopment has stalled due to environmental concerns. Many of these sites lie adjacent to the Snohomish River and Port Gardner Bay on the Puget Sound.

“These studies are an essential step toward redeveloping contaminated properties into viable new uses that will benefit our community,” said Allan Giffen, planning director.

Working with the city, environmental experts will scope the extent of environmental issues and develop rehabilitation plans on targeted sites identified by a city-appointed Brownfield Advisory Committee (BAC), including representatives from the Port of Everett, Snohomish County Health District, Department of Ecology, and local neighborhood, business and environmental groups.  When assessment work is complete, the BAC can prioritize key projects for cleanup and redevelopment.

Statewide prestige, national selection

Everett was one of only three Washington applicants to receive the community-wide assessment grant during 2013. On Oct. 1, 2013, the city entered into a cooperative agreement with the EPA, which will be implemented over a three-year period. Everett was previously awarded EPA Brownfields Assessment Demonstration Pilot Grants in 1998 and 2000, which funded geotechnical and environmental assessments at the former city landfill and creation of the Riverfront Redevelopment Plan.

The city has contracted with Stantec Consulting to conduct the assessments over a three-year period. The primary goals of the project include job creation, environmental restoration, and reduction in threats to public health.  Stantec is also assisting Kent and Vancouver, WA with the implementation of similar brownfield grant projects.



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