KCCHA seeks second cleanup grant

The Kitsap County Consolidated Housing Authority (KCCHA) is currently assembling an application for another Brownfield grant to supplement the $54,205 it received last year to perform environmental analyses on the highly-contaminated Mitchell property, now owned by the KCCHA.

Brownfields are properties where expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the presence — or potential presence — of a contaminant, pollutant or hazardous substance.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Brownfields Grant Program was created to help communities redevelop, reuse or expand land that – because of contamination, pollutant, or hazardous substance – might otherwise be unusable.

If the application is successful, up to $165,000 in grant funds would be used to remove sources of surface and subsurface contamination at 920 Mitchell Ave., where a garage used by the Port Orchard Fire Department was located. The KCCHA would clean up the sites where it plans to build an additional 42-unit retirement complex.

“This reuse aids in economic recovery, leads to sustainable growth while preserving ‘green spaces’ and could help fill a void for affordable senior housing in Port Orchard,” said Kathleen Byrne-Barrantes, grants consultant for the KCCHA.

The city of Port Orchard cleaned up an adjacent site purchased by KCCHA in 2003 to construct its current 42-unit affordable retirement complex there in response to a shortage of housing for seniors within the city.

The KCCHA also received a $54,205 EPA Brownfields Assessment Grant in 2004. The Mitchell properties had historical potential for petroleum and other contamination, so before buying the land, the agency used EPA grant funds to perform environmental analyses.

Previous storage and heating of oil and tar in the area surrounding the garage, seepage of tar-like material from the soil up through the asphalt pavement and sediment in the soil resulting from on-site cleaning of street-sweeping equipment resulted in the presence of petroleum and metals in the soils.

“Communities across the country are facing these kinds of problems, and it’s exactly what the Brownfields program was designed to address,” KCCHA Development Director Julie Graves added. “This pollution took decades to accumulate in Port Orchard. Now we have a real chance to get it cleaned up once and for all – with federal funds.”

Site cleanup would include removal of contaminated soil and site remediation. KCCHA, in conjunction with EPA’s Office of Brownfields Cleanup and Development, will administer the grant. Cleanup and monitoring activities would be done by qualified contractors and activities will be coordinated with the Washington State Department of Ecology’s Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP).

Similar grants were used in 2004 to clean up the most polluted areas of Gorst.

As part of the application process, the EPA Brownfields grant application will be available for public review and comments from the public are invited.

Plans will also be presented to the Port Orchard City Council at an upcoming regular public council meeting.

The draft proposal will be available for viewing by the public at the KCCHA offices in the Norm Dicks Government Building at 345 6th Street in Bremerton during regular business hours. To schedule an appointment or for more information concerning the Mitchell Senior Housing Project in Port Orchard, please call Graves at (360) 535-6138.

Comments from the general public are invited, and will be accepted via e-mail ( ) and/or by mail to the attention of: Julie Graves, KCCHA Development Director, 9307 Bayshore Dr NW, Silverdale, WA, 98383.

Once the public comment period ends on December 12, the agencies will review all comments received and incorporate suggested changes into the grant proposal as appropriate or provide response to affected parties. If there are no significant changes, the EPA Brownfields Grant Proposal is considered final and the application will be submitted.

EPA is expected to announce the grant awardees in April 2006.

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