In Milwaukie, Metro worked with the owner of a former gas station to identify and monitor contamination on the site. Learn more about the Milwaukie site and other brownfield success stories.
Metro is working to promote efficient use of land through redevelopment of contaminated properties that provides economic benefits to communities.
Many communities within this region have vacant properties that once served as gas stations, auto repair shops or other businesses that used petroleum-based chemicals that can have long-term environmental impacts. These sites can provide tremendous opportunities for redevelopment as restaurants, retail shops, housing or even parks and natural areas. However, real or perceived contamination of these properties can hinder their future development, reduce local property tax revenues and pose significant clean-up and liability costs for property owners.
With funding provided by grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Metro's Brownfields Recycling Program promotes the efficient use of land through redevelopment of brownfield sites. It works with local property owners and public officials to assess the nature and extent of possible petroleum-based contamination on these unused sites. The program identifies other resources that can help property owners clean up their sites to enhance their property values and enable their redevelopment.
Clean-up and reuse of brownfields support the region's goal to enhance the efficient use of land and protect surrounding farmland and natural areas. Restoring and reinvesting in these properties takes development pressures off of undeveloped open land and improves and protects the environment. Moreover, brownfield recycling in the region's urban centers generates additional tax revenues for local governments, takes advantage of existing utility and transportation infrastructure, and increases the quality of life for area residents by providing opportunities for job growth, the creation of affordable housing, parks and open spaces, and elimination of health risks.
In 2011, building on the success of Metro's brownfields assessment program, the Metro Council directed its staff to study issues related to the contamination and potential redevelopment of brownfields across the region. The goal of the Regional Brownfield Scoping Project was to understand the scale and impacts of contaminated, underutilized properties in the Portland region and assess a range of policy solutions to promote clean-up and redevelopment of these sites. A technical review team of public- and private-sector representatives, with experience in brownfields and community development, brought a range of perspectives enhancing the analysis and conclusions of the project.
The final report, available below, summarizes the key findings. More detailed information on the analysis, methodology, and additional results are provided in the report’s appendices, which may also be downloaded from the links at the bottom of this page.
In collaboration with local governments and regional experts, the Brownfields Recycling Program maintains an inventory of brownfields, conducts environmental site assessments, provides technical assistance and helps to identify sources of funding for cleanup and redevelopment.
Property owners and interested parties are encouraged to apply for technical or financial assistance through Metro's Brownfields Recycling Program. The program will provide assistance to determine if a site is contaminated. The current grant cycle may pay for assessment of properties with real or perceived petroleum-based contamination such as that found at old gas stations, fueling facilities, auto-related businesses and some industrial sites.
To apply for assistance, download and complete one of the forms below (either the property owner application or the interested party referral) and return to Metro:
Attn: Brownfields Recycling Program
600 NE Grand Ave. Portland, OR 97232
If you know of a potential brownfield site or would like more information about the Brownfields Recycling Program, contact Miranda Bateschell at 503-797-1817 or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additionally, Metro conducts informational meetings and technical workshops to address questions of property owners, developers, local government officials and community members regarding environmental site assessments, planning and financing site restoration and redevelopment. More information about these meetings and workshops are made available through this website as they are scheduled.
503-797-1817 | 503-797-1930 fax
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