Upcycling City Spaces to Fit the Needs of the Community

Program Overview

The City of Lodi has received a $300,000 brownfield assessment grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This grant, awarded in 2020, has a three-year term and will be used to contribute to the successful revitalization and reuse of ‘brownfield’ sites (properties which are vacant, blighted, or otherwise underutilized). The grant provides funding for environmental site assessments, regulated building materials surveys (asbestos and lead paint), site cleanup and reuse planning, and related activities at publicly and privately owned sites. Use of grant funding will build on success stories achieved by the City during their previous (fiscal year 2015) EPA brownfields assessment grant and continue to drive revitalization and beneficial reuse of underutilized brownfield sites. Although funding is available for priority projects throughout the City, specific target areas include downtown Lodi, the Union Pacific rail corridor which bisects the city north to south, and the federally-designated Opportunity Zone, consisting of approximately 230 acres bounded by the UPRR rail corridor to the west, Lodi Avenue to the north, Central Avenue to the east, and Kettleman Lane to the south. An overarching goal is to leverage grant funding to develop a sustainable brownfields revitalization program to continue to support site redevelopment projects benefitting the citizens of Lodi.

VISION: Revitalize vacant and underutilized (“brownfield”) properties in the target areas described above and throughout the City. These revitalization efforts are intended to provide benefits to the community, including job creation, increased property values, environmental restoration, and reduced health risks. 

MISSION: Use 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 in the target areas and throughout the City. 

Guiding Principles for EPA Brownfield Assessment Grants: 

  • Prioritize use of grant funds for sites that will attract investors and become a catalyst for new employment opportunities and a sustainable job base.
  • 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.

What are Brownfields?

Many of our communities have properties that are abandoned or underutilized because of suspected environmental contamination from past uses. These properties are commonly referred to as “Brownfields.”

Brownfield - noun. 1. real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. 2. abandoned or underutilized property that is not being redeveloped because of fears that it may be contaminated with hazardous substances.

Environmental impacts from historical industrial operations and commercial activities have resulted in vacant and underutilized (“brownfield”) properties throughout our communities. Brownfield sites can be found in many different forms and may include derelict mills and factories, salvage yards and dump sites, former dry cleaners, old railyards and truck depots, former gas stations and other auto-related businesses, dilapidated and aging buildings, and other vacant and underutilized commercial and industrial properties.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a brownfield?

Brownfields are vacant and underutilized properties previously used for industrial or commercial activities that may have resulted in contamination from petroleum or hazardous substances but can be cleaned up and reused.

What are the benefits of brownfield redevelopment?

Property owners, businesses and developers who cleanup and reuse brownfields provide benefits to themselves and their communities, including:

  • Removing unknowns regarding site conditions that might hold up a sale or redevelopment.

  • Increasing return from the property by making it more valuable and marketable.

  • Contributing to economic prosperity and environmental restoration in the community.

  • Making neighborhoods safer and healthier.

  • Avoiding actions by regulatory agencies that may impose penalties and costly cleanups.

  • Reducing the potential that adjacent properties could be impacting their property (and vice versa).

What will grant funds be used for?

Grant funding can be used to inventory, assess, and conduct cleanup/reuse planning for priority sites. Additional information is included in the Community Member Fact Sheet, Property Owner Fact Sheet, and Process Guide for Property Owners & Stakeholders provided in the Resources section.

What sites are eligible for grant funds?

Sites eligible for grant-funded activities include private- or public-owned properties with known or suspected contamination and properties where sale, reuse, or redevelopment is planned. Eligibility is determined on a case-by-case basis. Eligible sites may include (but are not limited to):

  • Former manufacturing and industrial sites (e.g. shuttered mills and factories, old tank farms, etc.)
  • Vacant or underutilized warehouses and commercial facilities (e.g. aging strip malls)

  • Former gas stations and other auto-related businesses

  • Former dry cleaners

  • Old rail yards and truck depots

  • Salvage yards, landfills and unpermitted dumping sites

  • Buildings with asbestos, lead paint, mold or other hazardous substances

What are the program requirements and timeline?

The program and funding is committed through October 2023. Participation is entirely voluntary and the property owner must provide site access for assessment activities.

To qualify for grant funding, sites must meet certain eligibility requirements (described above). If you are interested in taking advantage of the opportunity to use grant funding on your site and are unsure whether or not it meets eligibility requirements (described in the Process Guide for Property Owners & Stakeholders provided in the Resources section), please contact Astrida Trupovnieks, City of Lodi Business Economic/Business Development Manager (209-333-6874) for additional information.

For additional information, please refer to the Fact Sheets and other materials provided in the Resources section.

Can I nominate a site for brownfield assessment funding?

Yes! Property owners can apply for grant funding to assess their underutilized brownfield sites. Please fill out and submit a site nomination form (web enabled form). Site nominations will be reviewed based on need and the degree to which grant funding will help facilitate site redevelopment.