EPA grants to help ﬁnd pollution
The Environmental Protection Agency has awarded two grants totaling $400,000 to help Hono-lulu officials identify polluted sites on O'ahu and gauge the severity of contamination to help prepare for cleanups.
The grants under EPA's Brownfields program will be used to identify sites with hazardous substance and petroleum contamination.
"Today's grants will help speed the cleanup and redevelopment of properties, providing jobs and helping revitalize neighborhoods," said Wayne Nastri, administrator of the U.S. EPA's Pacific Southwest Region in a statement announcing the grants.
"The Brownfields program enables communities to develop idle land into productive community assets."
The EPA said O'ahu has "numerous Brownfields because of its agricultural, industrial and military history."
City officials have said former sugar-industry areas in 'Ewa, Waipahu and Wahiawa will be high on the list of potential sites. The goal is to find property that communities can put to better use once they have been cleaned of pollutants.
Paul Kobata, a planner with the city's Department of Community Services, said the city will work with the state Department of Health to develop a list of Brownfields sites on O'ahu, and will call community meetings to ask residents to identify potential cleanup sites.
The grants are also to be used to produce cleanup and redevelopment plans, according to the EPA.
Kobata said he expects work under the grants to begin in a few months.
Previous Brownfields sites were identified on Maui, Kaua'i, O'ahu and the Big Island.