The Environmental Protection Agency has awarded Spokane $600,000 to identify and clean up brownfield areas in the University District.
Brownfields are lots that have some development value if their environmental problems can be fixed.
Teri Stripes is an assistant planner for the city of Spokane. She says a U-District coalition has been working to identify parcels of land that could be identified for building.
“We investigate the site, determine whether or not there is any contamination on the site. If there is contamination, then we turn around and we create a cleanup plan for that site," Stripes said. "Sometimes it could be something that can be encapsulated on site, underneath a driveway or underneath a parking lot.”
Or sometimes the pollution must be removed. Kendall Yards and the WSU Spokane campus are examples of brownfields that have been rehabilitated.
Stripes says the EPA grant will allow the coalition to do its homework on potential development sites and alert the property owners so they make decisions about how to proceed. She says members of the coalition will meet next week to discuss U-District parcels that may be ready now.