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EPA awards $1 million for cleanup and redevelopment projects in Spanish Fork and Murray, Utah

Brownfields provide financing to address property pollution and stimulate economic and community revitalization

Spanish Fork, Utah – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced $1 million in Brownfields Grants to support environmental assessment, cleanup and redevelopment of critical properties in the communities of Spanish Fork and Murray, Utah. The City of Spanish Fork will receive $500,000 to assess several priority properties with elevated concentrations of contaminants in soil and groundwater. The City of Murray will receive $500,000 to assess contaminants at properties in their Murray Central Business District.

These investments are part of the agency’s Brownfields Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup (MAC) Grant Programs.

“EPA’s Brownfields Grants Support Critical Cleanup and Redevelopment Projects in Utah,” said EPA Regional Administrator KC Becker. “Today’s funding will help community leaders in Murray and Spanish Fork address pollution in soil, water and outdoor spaces and create new businesses, housing and recreational opportunities.”

City of Spanish Fork: $500,000

The City of Spanish Fork will use EPA Brownfields funding to assess environmental contamination at two priority sites in the city, the Express Way Landfill and the Foundry.

“This grant also gives the city the opportunity to plan for the redevelopment of underutilized and industrially used areas,” said Mayor Mike Mendenhall. “I thank the EPA for their grant funding and continued support as we work to make Spanish Fork a great place to live and work.”

Express Way Landfill in Spanish Fork, Utah

The Express Way Landfill is located on a 40-acre site consisting of 13 parcels combined into one landfill. Previous research at the site has shown elevated concentrations of metals such as lead, arsenic and chromium in the soil and benzene and arsenic in the groundwater, as well as landfill gases. EPA Brownfields grant funding will assist with further site investigation and cleanup planning to understand the environmental impacts that prevent the property from being redeveloped.

EPA funding will also be used to assess the Foundry site, located in the Spanish Fork Industrial Park. Founded in 1884, the foundry manufactured iron and brass castings using hazardous chemicals, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs), heavy metals, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and semi-volatile compounds (SVOCs). To determine whether the location is safe for redevelopment, a site assessment is necessary.

The City of Spanish Fork will use EPA grant funding to explore these centrally located Brownfields sites and create development opportunities, including affordable housing and new commercial spaces. Revitalizing these spaces will increase local employment, generate tax revenue and provide services to the community.

City of Murray: $500,000

The City of Murray will use the EPA Brownfields grant to assess two priority sites in the Murray Central Business District, the Creek Pocket Park and the Soccer Locker.

The Creek Pocket Park is a vacant residential lot located near the historic Murray Smelters, providing a vital link between the east and west sides of the city. EPA Brownfields funding will be used to assess contaminants of concern on the site, including lead, asbestos, arsenic, cadmium and other heavy metals.

After assessment and cleanup planning, the city plans to purchase this property and develop it into a “pocket park” as part of the pedestrian walkway along the creek. This will support flood mitigation plans and support residents’ safe travel through the central corridor.

EPA funding will also assess contaminants at the Soccer Locker, a 2.78-acre site located along the Little Cottonwood Creek. Previous investigations of the property have shown high levels of arsenic and other metals, believed to be slag and mining waste.

The city plans to develop the Soccer Locker into affordable housing and mixed-use commercial buildings to improve employment and quality of life for residents. Assessment of this site will revitalize a blighted property into a space that will alleviate housing burdens and food deserts in the area.

Additional background

The EPA’s Brownfields Program advances President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which sets a goal of 40% of the total benefits of certain federal investments flowing to communities marginalized by underinvestment and overburdened by pollution. Approximately 86% of MAC and RLF Supplemental Program applications selected to receive funding are proposed to operate in areas with overburdened communities.

EPA’s Brownfields Program began in 1995 and has provided nearly $2.7 billion in Brownfield Grants to assess and clean up contaminated properties and return blighted properties to productive reuse. Before the bipartisan infrastructure bill, this program provided approximately $60 million each year. Thanks to the President’s historic investments in America through the bipartisan infrastructure bill, the EPA has now increased that annual investment by nearly 400 percent.

To view the list of FY 2024 Multipurpose, Assessment and Cleanup applicants selected for funding, visit EPA’s FY 2024 Multipurpose, Assessment and Cleanup Applicants webpage.

For more information about EPA’s Brownfields Program, visit EPA’s Brownfields webpage.