The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), selected Council Bluffs, Iowa, to receive $500,000 of the $254.5 million in Brownfields grants. Council Bluffs is one of 265 communities awarded and was selected for cleanup of the former Reliance Battery Manufacturing Company at 813 22nd Avenue. These EPA grants are supported by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which provides a total of $1.5 billion to advance environmental justice, spur economic revitalization, and create jobs by cleaning up contaminated, polluted, or hazardous brownfield properties.
“We are honored to be a recipient of this EPA Brownfields Cleanup Grant,” said Council Bluffs Mayor, Matt Walsh. “This grant will have a transformative impact on the former Reliance Battery Factory site and the surrounding community. It will improve the quality of life and attractiveness of the City of Council Bluffs.”
On Monday, June 27, 2022, EPA Region 7’s Land, Chemical and Redevelopment Division Director DeAndré Singletary presented a $500,000 novelty big check to the city of Council Bluffs for their Brownfields grant selection.
“This Brownfields grant is a significant boost to the city’s cleanup efforts at the Former Reliance Battery Site,” said Singletary. “We are proud to partner with Council Bluffs, and we share their commitment to enhancing the lives of those who live near this site by cleaning up contamination and engaging with the community.”
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.
“We are grateful to Director Singletary and to the Region 7 staff for all their support,” said Council Bluffs Community Development Directory, Courtney Harter. “Brownfields are certainly a team effort. I’d like to give special thanks to Mel Pins of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Brownfields Program for his assistance in funding the removal of asbestos and hazardous materials, and to all of the City staff involved in getting us here.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 712-890-5352.