The City of Council Bluffs administers the Brownfields Program with funding from an EPA Community-Wide Brownfields Assessment Grant. The funding allows the City to inventory, characterize, assess, and conduct cleanup and reuse planning activities on brownfield sites.
A brownfield is a real property for which the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse is complicated by the environmental contamination that is either real or perceived. Warehouses and factories are often abandoned and left uninhabited because the property is a brownfield.
An example of a brownfield in Council Bluffs is the former Reliance Battery Manufacturing Company at 813 22nd Avenue. The City is in the process of cleaning up the site with the intent to convert the property to residential. The building has been demolished, and the City has applied for additional EPA grants to remove and replace the soil.
The EPA estimates that there are more than 450,000 brownfields in the country. Since its inception in 1995, EPA's Brownfields Program has grown into a proven, results-oriented program that has changed the way communities address and manage brownfields. Cleaning up and reinvesting in brownfields increases the local tax base, facilitates job growth, utilizes existing infrastructure, and improves and protects the environment.
"Through our Brownfields Program, we can inventory potential brownfields, conduct environmental site assessments, and make plans for cleanup and reuse,” said Dessie Redmond, City of Council Bluffs Housing & Economic Development Planner. “We encourage any interested business owners to contact us.”
The City of Council Bluffs has selected Impact7G, Inc. to serve as the qualified environmental professional for the Brownfields Program. Impact7G will conduct Environmental Site Assessments on eligible properties in Council Bluffs. Beginning with a visual assessment, Impact7G will visit sites to look for indications of potential contamination. If hazards are identified, testing will follow in the second phase of the assessment. The environmental site assessments will serve as a planning tool for reclaiming the underutilized sites.
The City of Council Bluffs has a dedicated webpage for the Brownfields Program located at councilbluffs-ia.gov/brownfields. The webpage is an information portal for Brownfields Program activities, public meetings, and community events.
Anyone with a property that might be a good fit for the Brownfields Program can contact Dessie Redmond, Housing & Economic Development Planner, at [email protected] or by phone at 712-890-5352.