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Karl Brooks, EPA Region 7 administrator, far right, presents a check to City Councilmembers Bob Stephens, right, and Cindy Rushefsky, middle, and Ken McClure of MSU, far left, among others.
Karl Brooks, EPA Region 7 administrator, far right, presents a check to City Councilmembers Bob Stephens, right, and Cindy Rushefsky, middle, and Ken McClure of MSU, far left, among others.

EPA sending $600,000 for Jordan Valley cleanup

Posted online
Last edited 3:54 p.m., June 8, 2011

The city of Springfield is in line to receive $600,000 in federal brownfields funding for cleanup of the West Meadows in Jordan Valley Park.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this week selected Springfield among the communities to receive portions of $76 million dedicated to land cleanup and revitalization through its brownfields program, according to an EPA news release. There were 214 applicants for this round of funding for brownfields assessment, cleanup and revolving loans.

EPA defines a brownfield site as property where “the expansion, redevelopment or reuse of (might) be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant,” according to the release.

City officials and representatives from the EPA Region 7 office in Kansas City this morning held a news conference and tour of West Meadows.

Through the program, Springfield plans to turn a vacant contaminated former railyard into a natural wetland open space with greenway trails. The corridor will serve as flood control and take more than 100 acres and 150 properties out of the floodplain, the release said.

According to Olivia Hough, the city's brownfields coordinator, the West Valley area was contaminated by lead, arsenic and concrete several feet thick in places, left over from the railyard that once occupied the area.
    
Hough said this grant, in addition to a 20 percent match by the city, will complete the funding necessary for the project.

Funds also will be used for cleanup planning and community outreach.

In October, Springfield began $800,000 in West Meadows Phase I work with costs shared by the EPA, a community development block grant and the city’s level property tax.

The Jordan Valley Park Concept Plan, approved by Springfield City Council in February 2010, outlines plans for Jordan Valley redevelopment, including the following recommendations for West Meadows:
  • Open space;
  • Jordan Creek and stormwater management restoration;
  • Constructed wetlands;
  • Greenway trails;
  • Native vegetation;
  • Connections to West Central Neighborhood
  • A feasibility study of an inside Jordan Valley rail line transportation system;
  • A site investigation for a public facility along Main Avenue; and
  • Fort Avenue improvements.
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