Brownfield clean up gets funding

The City of Tulsa received notice last month of a $300,000 supplemental grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help clean up brownfields properties.

Tulsa was chosen for this grant because of our city’s successful track record for brownfields cleanup and redevelopment. Many popular downtown Tulsa places are redeveloped brownfield sites, including the BOK Center, Oneok Field, Mayo Hotel and Guthrie Green.

“We appreciate that EPA has recognized and expressed confidence in Tulsa’s brownfields program by awarding this supplemental grant funding,” said Mayor Dewey F. Bartlett Jr. “We look forward to building on our successes and moving forward with cleanup and redevelopment of brownfield properties.”

Tulsa is currently using $1.4 million in EPA brownfield grant funds awarded in 2013 – $600,000 for cleanup of the city-owned Evans-Fintube site, and $800,000 for a revolving loan fund to help owners of private property clean up and redevelop brownfields. Tulsa will apply this additional $300,000 grant toward enhancement of cleanup efforts at the Evans-Fintube site, located at 150 and 186 N. Lansing Ave. Projects for cleaning asbestos and lead-based paint at that site have gone out for bid and will start soon.

Using a $350,000 federal grant awarded to Tulsa by the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality in 2011, Tulsa has completed cleanup of the City-owned Old Morton Health Center at Pine Street and Greenwood Avenue. The City of Tulsa is now working with a developer for a mixed-use project on that site. The Evans-Fintube site and the Old Morton Health Center were among those targeted for redevelopment in a 2011-2012 study using an Areawide Planning Grant also from the EPA.

By awarding this supplemental $300,000 grant to Tulsa, the EPA recognizes our city as a “nationwide leader in revitalizing neighborhoods by leveraging EPA brownfields grants to clean up abandoned, contaminated properties,” said Regional Administrator Ron Curry. “… Tulsa has shown that environmental protection and economic development can go hand-in-hand.”

A brownfield is an abandoned, idled or under-used industrial and commercial site where redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination.