With a small amount of money and the commitment and motivation of local property owners to restore their contaminated sites to productive use, Metro's Brownfields Recycling Program has enabled the cleanup of several sites around the region.
Read about Metro's partnerships with property owners, park districts and local jurisdictions to help restore contaminated property:
A property owner of a site in downtown Troutdale had already performed environmental assessment and cleanup on several portions of the property, which includes a historic service station. Running up against expiring funds, the owner applied to Metro's program to cover the remaining costs. Metro provided grant funding to assess the remainder of the site, including water and soil sampling and a beneficial water use survey for the surrounding properties. Upon completion of the assessment work, the property owner intends to market the property for sale and redevelopment. The site represents an important redevelopment opportunity on the western edge of the Historic Columbia River Scenic Highway, which runs through downtown Troutdale.
A property owner of a site in downtown Sherwood that was a service station in the late 1930s wanted to sell the property, but didn't know what type or how much contamination might be on the site. Metro provided grant funding to assess the site which allowed for the eventual removal of four underground storage tanks. The assessment leveraged cleanup from DEQ, returning the property to the market. Given its downtown location in an urban renewal district, the site has high redevelopment potential for jobs, commercial uses and housing.
Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District saw the potential for the site of a former gas station to accommodate the expansion of its park facilities. The district needed to know the extent of petroleum contamination before purchasing the site to ensure its safety for public use. The site's location adjacent to a creek and the potential for contamination of the storm sewer system was a concern. Metro determined that there was one remaining underground storage tank along with residual petroleum products associated with previous tanks and a fuel pump island. Working closely with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, additional assessment was completed, along with a redevelopment plan, to finalize a Prospective Purchasers Agreement between the park district and DEQ. The park district closed on the property in early June 2011 and is moving forward with plans to remediate the contamination and expand the existing park.
A property owner in Milwaukie is ready to sell a lot that was once the site of a gas station but knows the property is contaminated. The owner is not able to sell the property until the contamination and potential liability is defined. Metro provided grant funds to identify the extent of the contamination and connect the property owner with the Oregon DEQ for ongoing management of the contamination. Metro also provided information on cleanup resources and potential insurance recovery options.
The City of Milwaukie owns four separate but contiguous properties in the downtown area, located adjacent to a future stop on the MAX light rail extension. The city had found a leaking heating oil tank during the demolition of an existing building on the property and was concerned that additional tanks would be discovered once redevelopment started. Metro funded a detailed geophysical survey of the property to look for additional sources of contamination. No additional tanks were found. Grant funds were used to assess the large amount of fill material on the property due to its proximity to Kellogg Creek. The creek is part of the city's downtown revitalization efforts and will be brought back to its original condition as a fish habitat.
In Wood Village, Metro worked with the city to assess the level of contaminants at its current city hall location, formerly a public works facility and a retail site for treated lumber products. With plans to relocate city hall offices, the city designated the site for redevelopment with a mix of housing and businesses. Metro provided grant funds to identify petroleum contamination on the site which allowed the city to conduct a cleanup, increasing the site's market value and preparing it for new uses. Wood Village paid for the clean up of the site to prepare it for redevelopment.
A property owner in Cornelius where a gas station was located in the 1930s was concerned about potential contamination and the cost of cleanup. The site is on a corner lot on a main street with high redevelopment potential. Grant funds were used to fund a Phase 1 assessment which defined the range of potential contamination and cost estimates associated with those conditions.
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Profile sheets for each of these properties can be downloaded from the links below.