Metro, Clackamas County and Oregon City are working with businesses and community members to identify brownfield sites along a nine mile stretch of Southeast McLoughlin Boulevard from Milwaukie to Oregon City. This work is supported by a three year Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant that runs through March 31, 2021.
Metro is also offering assistance for brownfield site assessments for properties that could be or will be developed into new affordable housing. This grant from the EPA runs through September 30, 2023.
Both projects focus on five main outcomes:
- Conduct full Phase I/Phase II Environmental site assessments (up to 20 sites for the McLoughlin grant and up to 26 for the regionwide affordable housing grant)
- Work with community members to increase understanding of how brownfields impact communities and how to engage in cleanup and redevelopment
- Provide technical assistance to property owners on how to address contaminated sites
- Work with community members and potential developers to move forward with site cleanups based on redevelopment opportunities
- Build capacity of residents and local businesses to learn about careers and job opportunities in environmental remediation and redevelopment.
Partnerships and community engagement
Metro works with seven local jurisdictions (cities and counties) to build new affordable housing across the region, and collaborates with other partners to help fund transit-oriented development.
The McLoughlin EPA grant is guided by an advisory group including local residents, government staff, elected officials, DEQ staff, local business leaders, environmental advocates and members of civic organizations. The advisory group selects priority sites for assessment, cleanup and reuse planning and provides ongoing feedback to project staff.
The brownfields program engages with community, including historically under-represented groups, in activities such as:
- sharing project information and opportunities for public input
- supporting engagement staff and contractors with community surveys
- conducting community education activities at assessment sites
- targeting outreach and input opportunities to historically underrepresented groups
- building capacity of youth and local residents to learn about careers in environmental remediation
These grants are part of larger regional and statewide efforts to address brownfields. Since 2013, Metro has led a statewide Oregon Brownfield Coalition that represents diverse interests. The coalition’s legislative workgroup advocates for land bank legislation, funding for the statewide brownfield program, property tax incentive programs and a statewide income tax credit for brownfield assessment and cleanup.