Brownfield Redevelopment - EPA Assessment Grant Funding

Site Reuse & Revitalization Program Overview

Vision: Revitalize vacant and underutilized (“brownfield”) properties throughout Bremerton to provide benefits to the community, including environmental restoration, job creation, increased property values, and reduced health risks.

Mission: Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Brownfield Assessment Grant funding to inventory and prioritize brownfield sites for redevelopment, assess existing site conditions, and plan for cleanup and reuse of priority sites throughout our community. 

Guiding Principles:
  • Prioritize use of grant funds on priority sites that will attract investors and become a catalyst for new employment opportunities and a sustainable job base.
  • Build on past brownfield redevelopment successes.
  • Promote infill development that maximizes use of existing space, infrastructure and utilities.
  • Remove redevelopment barriers by addressing unknown site conditions and creating shovel ready sites.
  • Invest in sites that will generate public and private revenue. 
  • Transform blighted areas into thriving neighborhoods.
  • Protect public health and the environment. 
  • Promote public participation and input on priority redevelopment areas and sites.

Program Background

The Site Reuse and Revitalization Program is funded by two U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Brownfields Assessment Grants awarded in 2017 to the City of Bremerton. The Program is managed by the Department of Community Development with support from an environmental consulting team led by Stantec Consulting Services Inc. (Stantec). The grants will fund Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs) and other cleanup/reuse activities at publicly and privately-owned brownfield sites over a three-year period (through September 2020). 

The EPA defines brownfields as “real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential [i.e. perceived] presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.”

Environmental impacts from historic industrial operations and commercial activities have resulted in vacant and underutilized brownfield properties throughout Bremerton. Brownfields include derelict industrial sites, former auto-related businesses in aging commercial corridors, and other vacant and underutilized commercial and industrial properties. Under contract with Bremerton, Stantec will assess environmental liabilities and develop cleanup/reuse plans to catalyze redevelopment throughout the community.

Under the current grant, the city of Bremerton targeted four neighborhoods in its grant application. These are the specific areas with descriptions from the city’s application:

  • Anderson Cove, an area along Port Washington Narrows where fuel was stored decades ago in large tanks. Petroleum and other contamination was discovered on the site in 2008, but no cleanup has been done. The pollution continues to cause water-quality problems along the beach, which is adjacent to a residential area and community park. 
  • Wheaton Way, a commercial corridor in East Bremerton, where many buildings have been abandoned and have fallen into disrepair. “This is a prime commercial development area, yet many of the properties have remained vacant for decades due to concerns of contamination,” the application states. The former K-Mart shopping center and Parker Lumber store are among those eligible for funding. 
  • Callow Avenue, Bremerton’s “second downtown” where many old buildings have been abandoned. The area was once home to dry-cleaners, gas stations and auto-repair shops that are believed to have left behind petroleum, solvents, lead, asbestos and mold in buildings adjacent to occupied stores. 
  • Downtown Bremerton, where pollution records list 27 properties with potential problems. Photo shops, gas stations, dry-cleaners and manufacturing facilities once occupied the buildings. Dry-cleaning chemicals were even found during excavation for the Bremerton ferry tunnel. Bremerton City Council declared the 10-acre area “blighted” in 1977 and reaffirmed the designation in 2015.
This is not Bremerton’s first delve into Brownfields Cleanup. Our City has a strong track record of taking contaminated and underutilized properties and turning them into community assets. Examples of these successes include:
  • Evergreen Park was formerly a petroleum contaminated site and is now the City’s premier park facilities.
  • Charleston Beach Road contained a series of contaminated parcels, including a contaminated former gas station. These issues were addressed using a Brownfields Cleanup Grant in 2009Now businesses are present at these once derelict sites.
  • Multiple sites in the downtown area have been publicly and privately redeveloped. Many of these had prior environmental issues that had to be resolved prior to construction.
The intent of the use of these grant funds is to facilitate additional development by assessing environmental risk at selected sites, thereby making property acquisition easier and reducing risk incurred by developers. 

The City wants to reuse properties that are currently derelict. We want to partner with the community to create value out of otherwise unusable land.