EPA Brownfields Program

About the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):


  • Established in 1995

  • Focused on the redevelopment and revitalization of underutilized and vacant properties whose safety is questionable

  • Results-oriented program that has changed the way contaminated or perceived contaminated property is addressed and managed

  • Empowers states, communities, and other stakeholders in economic development to work together to prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse brownfields


  • Per EPA: a brownfield is real property whose expansion, redevelopment or re-use may be complicated by the presence or perceived presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant

  • Often an abandoned, idled, or underused industrial or commercial facility, that may have left contaminants behind

  • Examples: railroads, gas stations, oil refineries, dry cleaners, liquid or chemical storage facilities, heavy manufacturing plants, and sites where pollutants were dumped


  • Protects the health of local residents

  • Protects the environment

  • Can increase residential property values 5% – 15.2% near the brownfield


  • Increased tax base

  • Creation of new jobs

  • Utilization/repurposing of existing infrastructure

  • Removal of blight

EPA Brownfields Coalition Assessment Cooperative Agreements with NNDA

Program funding is used to inventory, characterize, assess, and conduct planning and community involvement related to brownfield sites
3-year grants awarded to NNDA @ $600,000
  • Churchill County and Lyon County – 2014 (completed)

  • Carson City and Douglas County – 2017 (in progress)

  • Churchill County and Lyon County – 2018 (in progress)

Expected results
  • A total investment of nearly $1.8 million directly invested into Sierra Region properties, between 2014-2021

  • Expansion of industrial space to support the growth of the region’s economic ecosystem

For brownfields which have successfully completed the assessment process, EPA has granted NNDA permission to use some of the grant funds to cover the cost of getting eligible sites certified through its Sierra Region Certified Sites program. This will help to quickly build an inventory of needed and qualified industrial space

Sierra Region Brownfields Success Stories

Churchill County
  • June 2017: County officials dedicated the $5 million William N. Pennington Life Center in Fallon. This new senior center replaces the original with 16,000 square feet of space for recreation, art, salon, and medical services.

  • December 2017: The county opened its new state-of-the-art Law Enforcement and Detention Center in Fallon, across from the current jail. This 39,000 square-foot facility increases capacity to meet current needs with expanded space and enhanced safety, along with room for growth. The building also houses the county’s new and updated 911 dispatch center.

Lyon County
  • January 2018: The Enterprise Way Certified Site in Dayton is the first site designation completed in collaboration with an NNDA EPA Brownfields grant.  This parcel of land contains 133.39 acres and is zoned for industrial and commercial use.

  • August 2018: Fortune 500 company, Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE:PII), broke ground for its new 475,000 square foot multi-brand Distribution Center in Fernley. It is located within the Crossroads Commerce Center Certified Site, the second site designation completed in collaboration with an NNDA EPA Brownfields grant. The site is zoned for a mix of industrial and commercial use.