Congressman John Garamendi

Representing the 3rd District of California
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Congressmen Garamendi, Thompson Announce $467,000 Brownfields EPA Grant to Solano County Water Agency

May 28, 2015
Press Release

Grant to assess contamination from abandoned mines in Lake, Napa, Solano, and Yolo counties

DAVIS, CA – Today, Congressmen John Garamendi (CA-3) and Mike Thompson (CA-5) announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded the Solano County Water Agency, in collaboration with the Westside-Sacramento Integrated Water Management Group, a $467,378 federal grant to assess contamination from abandoned mines in Lake, Napa, Solano, and Yolo counties.

“This grant gives our communities the tools needed to clean abandoned mines, improve local water quality, protect public health, and support local businesses. It will also help us enjoy the great outdoors and strengthen Northern California’s tourism industry,” said Garamendi. “Thank you to the Solano County Water Agency and the Westside-Sacramento Integrated Water Management Group for taking on this important work.”

“Congratulations to the Solano County Water Agency and their partners on being awarded a brownfields grant that will help clean up abandoned land so that it’s safe and can be enjoyed by the public,” said Thompson. “By revitalizing these deserted commercial properties, we can create open spaces, spur economic development, restore habitat and improve water quality.”

“EPA is committed to helping communities strengthen their local economy by cleaning up abandoned industrial and commercial properties – places where environmental cleanups and new jobs are needed most,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “Solano County Water Agency and their coalition partners will use these funds to address abandoned mine properties that may be reused for open space, trails, and habitat restoration.”

Specifically, the grant was awarded to Solano County to support work on the Westside Integrated Regional Water Management Plan (IRWMP). The plan was put together by the Westside-Sacramento Regional Water Management Group, a coalition of public agencies spanning Solano, Yolo, Colusa, Lake, and Napa counties who have partnered to identify and address regional water resources opportunities and challenges for the areas within the Cache Creek and Putah Creek watersheds, including mercury contamination cleanup. The grant will fund the inventory of mine-scarred brownfields in these watersheds, conduct Environmental Site Assessments, and prepare site cleanup plans.

The coalition will assess and prioritize mine-scarred brownfields on private lands that may be revitalized for public benefit, including open space, trails, economic development, habitat restoration, and water quality improvement. Approximately 100 abandoned mines are located in the upper Cache Creek and Putah Creek Watersheds of the inter-coastal mountain range west of the Sacramento River in Lake, Napa, Solano, and Yolo counties.

Since the inception of the EPA’s brownfields program in 1995, cumulative program investments have leveraged more than $22 billion from a variety of public and private sources for cleanup and redevelopment activities. This equates to an average of $17.79 leveraged per EPA brownfield dollar expended. These investments have resulted in approximately 105,942 jobs nationwide. The EPA’s brownfields program empowers states, communities, and other stakeholders to work together to assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse brownfields sites. 

More information on the EPA’s brownfields program: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/

More information on the Solano County Water Agency: https://www.scwa2.com/