On October 7, 2021, San Diego, California-based SCS Engineers announced the formation of a dedicated team of specialists to help clients secure newly available state grants for the remediation of brownﬁelds and assist with environmental investigations and cleanup of the sites for development.
Services like this are part of a national (possibly global) trend among major engineering and AEC firms towards becoming better partners with communities in creating revitalization and resilience, as opposed to their traditional role of simply delivering projects. Maybe the most advanced of these efforts is the strategic alliance Dallas-based Jacobs Engineering ($12 billion per year and 55,000 employees) is forming with RECONOMICS Institute: The Society of Revitalization & Resilience Professionals.
The Equitable Community Revitalization Grants (ECRG), through the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), are intended to fund the redevelopment of eligible projects in disadvantaged and vulnerable communities and promote affordable housing, community uses, revitalization, and equitable recycling of land.
“In the midst of a housing crisis, communities and affordable housing developers have a historic opportunity to obtain funding for the cleanup of some of the approximately 200,000 brownﬁelds in the state that could be put back to their highest and best use,” said Dan Johnson, SCS Engineers vice president, and the company’s National Expert for Brownﬁelds Redevelopment.
Under the ECRG and other DTSC programs to address brownfields, the DTSC allocates approximately $500,000,000 for grants to municipalities, government agencies, tribes, non-proﬁts, and affordable housing ventures.
For the ECRG grant, a pre-qualification application round begins in late fall 2021, with the application period open between six and eight weeks. DTSC plans to launch the full ECRG application in the spring of 2022. Participants are encouraged to apply for pre-qualification.
SCS has decades of experience with brownﬁeld assessment, analysis in numerous USEPA Region 9 communities. Recent successes in helping clients obtain funding for the cleanup of contaminated properties prompted the creation of the SCS Brownﬁeld Redevelopment Team.
In addition to Johnson, the cross-disciplinary, statewide SCS team will include Keith Etchells, certiﬁed geologist, and hydrogeologist based in San Diego; Jim Ritchie, SCS Vice President, based in the Bay Area, with three decades of experience in site restoration; Ashley Hutchens, Vice President and Environmental Services director, based in Long Beach; Alissa Barrow, Project Manager and Professional Engineer, based in San Diego; and Dana Justice, marketing specialist working with the San Diego ofﬁce.
“These projects can be complex. Forming a specialized team to assist through the whole process — from site assessment to funding, cleanup, and through construction — will give our clients a streamlined approach and create efﬁciencies that can give them a signiﬁcant competitive advantage,” said Ritchie.
SCS Engineers’ environmental solutions and technology directly result from our experience and dedication to industries responsible for safeguarding the environment as they deliver services and products.
Photo of brownfield site at old Packard factory in Detroit by Storm Cunningham.