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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary

EPA Gives Cities Funds to Clean Up 'Brownfields'

November 22, 2000

MAYWOOD — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Tuesday it will give $250,000 in grants to a group of 10 cities in Southeast Los Angeles County, as well as $500,000 to the city of Carson, to clean up contaminated vacant lots called "brownfields."

Part of the EPA's Brownfield Economic Development Initiative, the seed money is intended to help cities assess the costs of cleaning up the abandoned sites. Often the uncertainty of not knowing the level of contamination drives potential buyers away and land values down, officials said.

"What people have done is they've passed up any property that might be contaminated because they don't want to gamble with it," said Felicia Marcus, regional administrator for the program. EPA officials made the announcements at a press conference along the Los Angeles River in Maywood and at a City Council meeting in Carson.

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