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Focus on South Park Street Corridor

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced this week the award of a $300,000 brownfield assessment grant to the City of Madison. The grant will be used to conduct environmental assessments and remediation planning on contaminated industrial and commercial properties, with a focus on the South Park Street corridor.

“Madison’s vision for the South Park Street corridor is a vibrant, mixed-use, affordable, transit-oriented neighborhood commercial district,” said Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway. “We are working on improving the area for the community that lives and works there. These funds will allow us to identify any site contamination issues that might get in the way of that, so we can focus on building capacity in the area and work on development without displacement.”

These grants help communities transform contaminated sites into community assets that create jobs, promote sustainable economic development, and improve public health and the environment. Madison previously received $800,000 of EPA brownfield funding in 2012, which was instrumental in the redevelopment of the Capitol East District.

During the 1940’s a two-mile stretch of S. Park Street became known as “Gasoline Alley” due to the number of gas stations and auto repair and sales businesses. The EPA brownfield grant will be used to investigate this legacy contamination in the effort to promote sustainable redevelopment.

Brownfields are abandoned or underused commercial or industrial properties where the expansion or redevelopment of the sites is hindered by real or perceived contamination. These properties present unique public health, environmental and economic challenges to the communities in which they are located. In Wisconsin, there are an estimated 10,000 brownfields, many of them impacting under-served and economically disadvantaged communities.