The Port of Sunnyside and Ellensburg have been awarded $200,000 in state grants to investigate contaminated properties and make them suitable for redevelopment.
"Cities can jump-start cleanup at sites that are a blight on the community and otherwise carry little value," said Valerie Bound, manager for the state Department of Ecology's Toxic Cleanup Program in Yakima.
The Legislature authorized Ecology to make the grants available to local governments across the state.
Funding comes from the state's Local Toxics Account and may be used for planning, sampling, assessment and habitat restoration.
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In Ellensburg, a proposal has been approved to plan the cleanup of a former diesel refueling station at 400 E. Mountain View Ave. According to a news release Friday from Ecology, the 5-acre site is contaminated by petroleum from underground storage tanks that leaked into surrounding soil and groundwater.
Kittitas Valley Fire District II has identified the former Mackner Scales site as ideal for a new station. The city of Ellensburg plans to relocate its senior center to the site, and there also is the potential to restore habitat in the urban stream that borders the property, according to the news release.
The Port of Sunnyside will use its grant to entice other business entities such as a winery to locate at the former Carnation industrial milk processing plant at 111 E. Lincoln Ave.
According to the news release, the property is bank-owned and contaminated by petroleum and solvents.