Congratulations to the EPA Brownfield Grant recipients in Oregon

After going through an incredibly competitive grant process, eight of the nine Oregon applicants prevailed and will receive $4.4 million from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s brownfield grants and loans program. These grants will support these applicants in doing environmental assessments, sampling and cleanup of brownfields in their communities.

In Oregon, successful recipients include the City of Chiloquin, Clatsop County, Columbia Pacific Economic Development District of Oregon, City of Hillsboro, City of Lincoln City, City of Portland, Rogue Valley Council of Governments and Tillamook County.

A brownfield is a former industrial or commercial site where future use is affected by real or perceived environmental contamination.

Receiving these grants and loans is just the beginning for these communities. They are now tasked with putting together a work plan over the next several months before they kick off their project. Each grant and loan application included a letter of support from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, and we are thrilled to congratulate all of our recipients. Read more about each recipient’s project and a quote from


City of Chiloquin | Cleanup Grant | $402,500

Clean up of the Former Markwardt Brothers Garage Assemblage site in Chiloquin. This site has been unused since the 1980s and funding will support addressing a collapsed building, underground storage tanks and any contamination related to the site’s use as a former auto shop and gas station.

Clatsop County | Assessment Grant | $500,000

Clatsop County will use the funding to identify, inventory, characterize, rank and select existing brownfield sites contaminated with hazardous substances within the County for site-specific assessment, and also develop liability management and remedial strategies that allow for the safe and viable monitoring, redevelopment and/or reuse of the identified properties. Approximately 15 sites were identified throughout Clatsop County in both incorporated and unincorporated areas which includes a former gas station in Seaside as well as an assemblage of abandoned buildings adjacent to a decommissioned Naval base from WWII in Astoria.

“Clatsop County is very pleased to have been awarded these grant monies which will allow us to do this important work. These resources will help to identify and clean up hazardous areas so they can safely be used to potentially help address housing and economic development needs of our community in the future.”

Monica Steele, Clatsop County Assistant County Manager

Columbia Pacific Economic Development District of Oregon | Revolving Loan Fund | $1,000,000

Columbia Pacific Economic Development District of Oregon will use their funds to provide loans and subgrants to support cleanup activities in the Counties of Tillamook, Clatsop, Columbia, and Western Washington. Priority opportunities would include cleaning former mills sites, former industrials, and other lands that could provide industrial, commercial, or residential lands.

“ColPac is thrilled to bring these tools to our region. Our remarkable histories and geographies also present challenges in the area, and we’re here to meet those challenges.”

Sarah Lu Heath, ColPac Programs Manager

City of Hillsboro | Assessment Grant | $500,000

The City of Hillsboro will use their grant to support the southern portion of Hillsboro’s Downtown Urban Renewal District. Properties in the area have been impacted by historic disinvestment and the perception or suspicion of contamination. The City will prioritize a former rail depot and silo site, a former gas station and car wash, and a former dry cleaner and auto repair site. The grant will include environmental site assessments, cleanup plans and community outreach.

“Assessing and clearing brownfields in several areas within Downtown Hillsboro will help our local property owners realize the true economic potential of these sites. The City of Hillsboro is excited and grateful to have been granted an US EPA Brownfield Assessment Grant. This grant will help transform blighted or underutilized properties in the Downtown Urban Renewal District into productive commercial or industrial uses, mixed use, residential use or other needed amenities to serve the community better.”

city of hillsboro mayor Steve Callaway

City of Lincoln City | Assessment Grant | $500,000

The City of Lincoln City will be prioritizing brownfield sites identified in the 2020 Underutilized Property Survey with its grant, focusing primarily in the Wecoma, OceanLake, and Nelscott Districts. Already identified priority sites include a former auto shop, former dry cleaner and rock quarry. The grant will support environmental site assessments, cleanup plans, and community outreach activities.

“I want to thank EPA for their Brownfields award to the City of Lincoln City. With this assistance, I am excited for the City to be able to offer help to private property owners with any brownfield concerns, and then move forward with redevelopment plans or selling their property, thereby helping the City both economically and aesthetically.”

City of Lincoln City Mayor susan Wahlke

City of Portland | Assessment Grant | $500,000

The City of Portland will focus their brownfield work on East, North and Northeast Portland. The focus areas for this grant are projects that benefit residents of East Portland and North and Northeast Portland. Using grant funds the City will conduct environmental site assessments, create cleanup plans and engage the community.

“We’re thrilled that Portland has been selected for this grant, made possible through the bipartisan infrastructure law. These dollars will help turn polluted properties into productive ones, and I’m particularly proud that the City will focus this grant on areas of East Portland and North and Northeast Portland to help turn vacant sites into affordable housing and other needed uses.”

City of portland Commissioner Mingus Mapps

Rogue Valley Council of Governments | Assessment Grant | $500,000

The Rogue Valley Council of Governments is focusing their work on the Cities of Talent, Phoenix and Medford as well as unincorporated portions of Jackson County. Priority sites include a former truck service and repair station, three former gas stations and a former fruit orchard. Work under this grant will include environmental site assessments, cleanup plans, area-wide plans and community engagement activities.

“The funding will help the community continue rebuilding after the devastating fires that impacted the region in September of 2020. The fires destroyed thousands of residences and hundreds of businesses and commercial buildings. The funding will provide us with a tool to evaluate newly created brownfields from the fire and prepare the sites for the eventual clean-up and repurposing for one of the many needs facing displaced residents and others including housing, businesses, parks, community gardens and markets. It will also help us to continue the Regional program which has provided support to regional and has helped us grow the local economy by partnering with key local businesses.”

Rogue valley council of governments

Tillamook County | Assessment Grant | $500,000

The primary focus of Tillamook County’s assessment work will be housing and health in the built environment. This grant will help carry forward work to assess brownfield properties countywide and engage with community partners to identify opportunities for redevelopment. Tillamook County faces unique buildable land constraints amidst an unprecedented housing crisis, and we must think creatively and take big steps to find solutions. This is a big step towards unlocking underutilized sites for potential future housing and community resources.

“Tillamook County is excited to look at brownfields with a focus on health and housing and engage with communities to identify redevelopment goals. We have limited buildable lands available and continue to seek creative and collaborative solutions to address our housing shortage. This assessment grant represents an opportunity to envision vacant or abandoned brownfields in Tillamook County as housing and community resources.”

Thomas Fiorelli, Tillamook County Housing Coordinator

Published by Oregon Department of Environmental Quality

DEQ’s mission is to be a leader in restoring, maintaining and enhancing the quality of Oregon’s air, land and water.

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