Awarded EPA Brownfield Grants
EPA Brownfields in Nye County and the Rural Desert Southwest Brownfields Coalition (RDSBC)
The Nye County Brownfields Program has maintained strong public support since its inception in 2002 and has resulted in a number of positive environmental and economic outcomes. The County’s participation in the EPA Brownfields Program led the formation of the Rural Desert Southwest Brownfields Coalition (RDSBC) in 2011. The RDSBC initially included Esmeralda, Lincoln, Nye, and White Pine Counties in Nevada and Inyo County, California. In 2014 the RDSBC expanded to include Mineral County, Nevada. Nye County and the RDSBC have built on the success of the Nye County Brownfields Program to pursue the development of renewable energy and related projects as an economic development opportunity for the member counties. Throughout its efforts, educating leaders, staff and constituents has been a priority of Nye County and the RDSBC. Equally critical to efforts of the RDSBC has been the partnerships forged with various private, public, and academic institutions and organizations.
For a copy of the EPA’s Brownfield Grant Award Fact Sheets, click on the title for the Nye County (green) or RDSBC (brown) grant year.
Nye County received a $200,000 Brownfields 2002 Assessment Pilot Grant in 2002 to assess six municipalities within the County: Amargosa Valley, Beatty, Gabbs, Pahrump-Johnnie, Round Mountain, and Tonopah. Site selection was based on the potential to sustain commercial and industrial development. The County received an additional $50,000 award for assessment of brownfields sites to be used for greenspace purposes.
Nye County received two Brownfields 2005 Assessment Grants totaling $400,000: $200,000 for hazardous substances and $200,000 for petroleum. Funds were used to inventory brownfields sites and perform Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessments in target communities. Cleanup and reuse planning, land planning, institutional controls, and community outreach activities were also included as grant funded activities.
Nye County received a $200,000 Brownfields 2008 Job Training Grant. The program goal was to train 60 to 75 students for positions in the environmental field. Training included two tracks consisting of four 100-hour, six-week cycles. One track focused on asbestos, lead, and mold abatement along with CPR and first aid training. The second track included Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response training, environmental assessment, and cleanup techniques. Students were recruited from unemployed and underemployed county residents, especially those located in Pahrump, Nevada. Nye County coordinated with companies and community organizations to place graduates in environmental jobs.
Nye County formed the five-county Rural Desert Southwest Brownfields Coalition, to apply for an EPA Coalition Assessment grant. The RDSBC, comprised of Esmeralda, Lincoln, Nye, and White Pine Counties, Nevada and Inyo County, California, was awarded a $1,000,000 Brownfields 2011 Assessment Coalition Grant, with $700,000 dedicated to hazardous substances and $300,000 dedicated to petroleum. Tasks performed included development of a list of prioritized sites, completion of approximately 20 Phase I and five Phase II Environmental Site Assessments, and development and enforcement of institutional controls. Cleanup planning, community outreach activities, and the development of an area-wide plan with a focus on the promotion of renewable energy development were also included as grant funded activities.
EPA awarded Nye County a $200,000 2012 Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Grant to promote opportunities for County residents in waste management, renewable energy, and energy-efficiency-related renovations throughout the County, as many older buildings contain lead based paint and asbestos. The program goal was to train a minimum of 54 students, place 43 graduates in environmental positions, and track graduates for 18 months. Training included 126 hours of instruction in a variety of environmental areas. Students were also offered an additional 90 hours of supplemental training.
The four Nevada-based RDSBC counties of Esmeralda, Lincoln, Nye and White Pine formed the Nevada Rural Brownfields Partnership (NRBP). The Partnership was awarded a $1,000,000 Brownfields 2013 Revolving Loan Fund Grant, with $502,811 dedicated to hazardous substances and $497,189 dedicated to petroleum. The Revolving Loan Fund intends to provide loans and subgrants to support cleanup activities at brownfields sites throughout the member counties. Cleanup oversight and community outreach activities are also supported through the funds. Inyo County, California was not included as it was already eligible for California Revolving Loan Fund dollars.
The RDSBC expanded to include Mineral County, Nevada and was awarded a $600,000 Brownfields 2014 Assessment Coalition Grant, with $420,165 for hazardous substances and $179,835 for petroleum. Grant funds will be used for Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessments, cleanup planning, area-wide planning, community outreach activities, and monitoring and evaluation of the success of active institutional controls.
The RDSBC expanded to include the Duckwater Shoshone Tribe and was awarded a $600,000 Brownfields 2017 Assessment Coalition Grant, with $420,000 to assess hazardous substances and $180,000 to address petroleum. Grant funds will be used to inventory, characterize, assess, and conduct cleanup planning and community involvement related activities for brownfields sites across the coalition area. The project will continue to focus on redevelopment opportunities in support of renewable-energy related and other socio-economic redevelopment at former brownfields, including testing and manufacturing, innovative agriculture, and tourism through revitalized retail and commercial industries.