Brownfields are abandoned, idled, or under-used property where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived contamination. The land may be contaminated by hazardous waste or pollution but can be reused once the land has been thoroughly cleaned up. The Brownfields Program in Tucson seeks to reclaim these brownfields to redevelop them into productive private or public property for re-use.

Rio Nuevo early 1900sRio Nuevo 2005Phoenix Award

The City of Tucson's Rio Nuevo North Redevelopment Project received the Region 9 2004 Phoenix Award for Excellence in Brownfields Redevelopment. This former landfill site is now a vital, mixed use commercial property and river park. The redevelopment has created jobs and provides open space for recreational opportunties in a formerly blighted area near downtown.

Brownfields Program

The City of Tucson Environmental Services Department manages a citywide Brownfields Program, which enables successful redevelopment of adversely impacted properties. The main focus of the program is to support and enhance infill development, revitalize and restore the downtown business district, major gateways and Tucson's key historical landmarks, while preserving our Sonoran Desert landscape.

The City of Tucson first implemented their Brownfields Pilot Project in 1997 using a $200,000 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Brownfields Assessment Pilot Grant to complete a Phase I and II Environmental Site Assessments of Brownfields in the Rio Nuevo Redevelopment District in downtown Tucson.

Since receiving this initial Assessment Pilot Grant, the City of Tucson (City) has been awarded grants totaling nearly $3 million for assessment and cleanup, $500,000 for a Brownfields Revolving Loan Program and $200,000 for a Brownfields Job Training Grant. These varied projects and activities are managed by the City's Environmental Services, Engineering and Technical Support Division who provides a point of contact for technical assistance, Brownfields information resources, and serves as a link between the city manager, city departments, other jurisdictions, and the community.

To learn more about the City's Brownfields Program or to schedule an appointment with City staff, please contact one of the individuals listed under the Program Contacts.

EPA Brownfields Assessment Grant Project Area pdf