April 30, 2018

City Receives $300K EPA Grant for Soil Studies on 12th Ave

Money comes from the agency's Brownfields program.

EPA seal hero Seal of the Environmental Protection Agency. (PHOTO: AZPM Staff)

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The US Environmental Protection Agency will grant the City of Tucson $300,000 through its Brownfields program.

The money will go toward soil testing on a handful of sites along a stretch of 12th Avenue known as La Doce.

"That was a major corridor going south from Tucson down towards Nogales over the last 100 years," said Richard Byrd, an environmental manager with the city. "Being a corridor like that, some corners may have had gas stations that have come and gone."

La Doce runs along 12th Avenue from 40th Street to Drexel Road.

The city has received nearly $3 million in Brownfields grants over the past 20 years. The program pays for testing and clean up of sites where environmental contamination happened prior to environmental standards being put in place.

Byrd said smaller sites like the ones along 12th Avenue tend to fall into a handful of categories.

"An old gas station site, an old dry-cleaning site, an old hardware store where they had paints and solvents," he said. "These kind of routine neighborhood commercial facilities can have a legacy. These are the scenarios that we see quite often."

Larger projects can also be former industrial sites.

Byrd said the testing and possible clean up will help make the lots commercially viable for new development.

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