Saturday, September 23, 2023

Rawlins to get $500K for clean-up around I-80 Corridor

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced the City of Rawlins will receive a $500,000 Brownfields Assessment grant to conduct environmental assessments and develop cleanup plans at more than 20 high-priority properties. The target area for the grant is the Interstate 80 Corridor, including abandoned motel properties, a former gas station, a five-structure vacant apartment complex and a former bar.  

“The City of Rawlins has put together a strategic vision for assessing, cleaning up and revitalizing blighted properties along the I-80 corridor,” said EPA Regional Administrator KC Becker.   “We look forward to seeing these projects bring new assets and business opportunities to the Rawlins community.”  

The EPA funds are part of President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda to expedite the assessment and cleanup of brownfield sites while advancing environmental justice through the Multipurpose, Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup (MARC) Grant programs. Thanks to the boost from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, this funding is the largest ever awarded by the EPA’s Brownfields MARC Grant program.  

“The City of Rawlins is very excited and honored to be selected for a Brownfield Assessment Grant which will provide our community technical assistance to develop a plan with vacant or underutilized properties that may be environmentally contaminated and has redevelopment potential, thus transforming them into viable businesses,” said Mayor Terry Weickum.  

Many of the priority sites identified by the city are boarded up and vacant due to contamination concerns related to asbestos, lead, mold, metals, petroleum compounds, and other hazardous materials posing human health concerns and preventing redevelopment.   

Targeted sites include the former Express Inn, Sunset Motel, the Wyoming Bar and abandoned gas station and auto service properties on East Cedar and 6th Streets.  

Reuse plans for these properties include new assisted living centers, affordable homes and apartments and viable, tax-generating businesses serving residents and tourists.  


Thanks to the historic $1.5 billion boost from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, EPA’s Brownfields Program is helping more communities than ever begin to address the economic, social and environmental challenges caused by brownfields and stimulate economic opportunity and environmental revitalization in historically overburdened communities.  

EPA’s Brownfields Program also advances President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative to direct 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments to disadvantaged communities. Approximately 84% of the MARC program applications selected to receive funding proposed to work in areas that include historically underserved communities. 

EPA’s Brownfields Program began in 1995 and has provided nearly $2.37 billion in Brownfield Grants to assess and clean up contaminated properties and return blighted properties to productive reuse. EPA’s investments in addressing brownfield sites have leveraged more than $36 billion in cleanup and redevelopment. Communities that previously received Brownfields Grants used these resources to fund assessments and cleanups of brownfields, and successfully leverage an average of 10.6 jobs per $100,000 of grant funds spent and $19.78 for every dollar.