In California, there are several programs available for property owners looking to improve the state of their land before beginning construction. Some cases may require cleanup, such as in the instance of brownfields, where toxic chemicals may be present. Here are some of the most common resources used by California residents looking to restore polluted properties.
Orphan Site Cleanup Fund
The Orphan Site Cleanup Fund, or OSCF, is a grant program that has been established within the California Division of Financial Assistance. The goal of the fund is to provide property owners with the money they need to clean up sites that may have been contaminated by leaking petroleum in underground storage tanks when there is no financially responsible party available. The program, which went into effect in 2014, is not limited to brownfield sites.
CALReUse Assessment Program
The CALReUse Assessment Program was created in 2011 to help developers clean up brownfields and bring these areas into reuse. It provides forgivable loans beginning at $300,000 to fund site assessment and remedial action planning. Sites are prioritized according to distressed communities. Property owners can apply to join the program, and acceptance is determined by the California Pollution Control Financing Authority.
EPA Brownfields Grants
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency offers grants and loan programs to individuals in states, such as California, who are looking clean up brownfields. The California Department of Toxic Substances Control has begun working with the EPA to create the Revolving Loan Fund program. Those who apply for the program may receive financial and planning assistance as they look to restore a brownfield property.
Cleanup Loans and Environmental Assistance to Neighborhoods Program (CLEAN)
The DTSC developed CLEAN in 2000 to help developers, businesses, schools and local government clean up brownfield locations across California. Today, individuals can apply to receive low-interest loans of up to $100,000 to conduct endangerment assessments at their sites. Low-interest loans of up to $2.5 million may be administered to program members who are removing hazardous materials from redevelopment locations.
Voluntary Cleanup Program
The Voluntary Cleanup Program was established by the DTSC to propel the cleanup of properties without the need to apply for specific programs and compete against other developers. However, the DTSC must still accept the project before developers can receive help with their cleanup. The assistance that a developer may receive can range from site assessment to full site cleanup.
Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Fund
In the event that contaminated water is an issue on a property, developers can consult the DTSC to receive assistance through the Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Fund. This fund provides financial assistance to clean up brownfields that may have been contaminated below ground through leaking petroleum tanks.
To learn more about the programs you may be eligible for in the state of California, visit the DTSC website. Here, you can gain insight into which programs may be best for your particular needs and project.