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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Ponderay Brownfield Multipurpose Historic Panhandle Smelting & Refining Company Grant Project Ponderay Brownfield Multipurpose Historic Panhandle Smelting & Refining Company Grant Pro

March 2, 2020

  1. What is a brownfield site?
    For the purposes of EPA’s Brownfields Program, a “brownfield site” is “…real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.” In this case the “brownfield site” is the land surrounding the site locally known as the “Black Rock” swimming hole. The EPA’s brownfields program aids in the clean-up, expansion, redevelopment and/or, reuse of brownfield sites.
  2. What is the amount of funding available through the multipurpose grant?
    Up to $800,000 is available to the City of Ponderay to carry out a range of eligible assessment, cleanup, planning and related activities at one or more brownfield sites in a proposed area.
  3. What is the City’s matching amount?The City’s match contribution for this grant is $40,000.
  4. How long is the grant period?
    The performance period for a Multipurpose Grant is five years: October 2019 through October 2024.
  5. How is a Multipurpose Grant different from a Brownfields Assessment or Cleanup Grant?
    Many of the same activities may be funded under the Multipurpose Grant, that are eligible under an Assessment Grant and a Cleanup Grant. The primary difference relates to how the multipurpose grant allows the recipient to carry out the work. A Multipurpose Grant allows flexibility in carrying out eligible activities and allows for multiple activities to take place concurrently, allowing the overall revitalization process to be carried out more efficiently.
  6. What are examples of eligible planning activities?
    Brownfield planning activities may include developing a reuse vision for a brownfield site or area; conducting a site reuse assessment, valuation and feasibility assessments, infrastructure evaluation, and/or land use assessment.
  7.  If a site meets the definition of a brownfield, can I use Multipurpose Grant funding on it?
    As the Multipurpose Grant recipient, the City of Ponderay must be the legal owner of a brownfield site in order to expend any grant funds on remediation of the property.
  8. How can Multipurpose Grant funds be used?
    Activities directly related to the assessment, cleanup, or redevelopment of a brownfield site are considered “site- specific work.”
  9. What is considered an overall plan for revitalization?
    An overall plan for revitalization is a document that guides the reuse or development of a property, area, or neighborhood. This plan reflects feasible and actionable approaches to reusing and improving the property.
  10. How can I participate?
    The City of Ponderay has developed a public engagement plan which includes a variety of opportunities for public involvement throughout the term of the grant. Activities include but are not limited to:
  • Visit the City of Ponderay booth at the annual Ponderay Neighbor Day event. Each year the City will provide up to date information regarding the project and will offer an opportunity to collect community input.
  • The City of Ponderay will host one or more visioning sessions to help shape the redevelopment of the brownfield site.
  • The City will host a minimum of one open house annually to provide project updates.
  • Watch the City of Ponderay website and “Friend” us on Facebook for additional information and
    opportunities to participate.

11.   What’s happened so far to help determine the level of contamination at the former Panhandle Smelting & Refining Company site?
DEQ and our Contractors completed the following environmental site assessment and characterization activities on the former PSRC site beginning in 2006 through 2017, specifically;

  • Jan. 18, 2006. Preliminary Assessment: Zone 4, Props 11 & 14. (DEQ)
  • Apr. 16, 2010. Health Consultation, Zone 4, Props 11 & 14. (Idaho Division of Public Health)
  • Mar. 29, 2011. Phase I ESA: Zone 4, Props 11, 12, 13, 14 & 15. (URS Corporation)
  • Dec. 21, 2011. Archaeological Monitoring at the Panhandle Smelting and Refining Company Site (10BR539),
    Zone 4 Props 11 & 14. (TerraGraphics Environmental Engineering, Inc. (TG)) Confidential
  • July 20, 2012. Archaeological Monitoring at the Panhandle Smelting and Refining Company Site (10BR539), Zone 4 Props 11 & 14. (TG) Confidential
  • Aug. 31, 2012. Area-Wide Planning Conceptual Report. Zone 4. (TG)
  • Oct. 01, 2012. Zone 4 Groundwater Seep Survey. (STRATA)
  • Dec. 06, 2012. Phase II ESA Site Assessment/Risk Assessment, Zone 4, Props 11, 12, 13 & 14. (TG).
  • Dec. 06, 2012. Phase II ESA Site Investigation Report: Characterization of Waste Piles and Groundwater in Zone 4, Props 11 & 14. (TG)
  • Aug. 30, 2013. Phase I ESA: Zone 4 Prop #11 &14 – City of Ponderay & Dana Martin Parcels. (TG)
  • Oct. 22, 2013. Warning Sign Placement: Zone 4, Props 11 & 14. (TG)
  • July. 8, 2014. Record of Survey: Zone 4, Props 11, 12, 13, 14 & 15. (TG)
  • Oct. 1, 2014. Phase I ESA: Zone 4 Prop #11 – Dana Martin Parcels. (TG)
  • March 10, 2017. POBT Zone 4 TIGER Land Capability Study. (AECOM)
  • March 10, 2017. POBT Zone 4 TIGER Undercrossing Feasibility Study. (AECOM)

12.  What did this information do for the City of Ponderay?

The information collected between 2006 and 2017 allowed the City of Ponderay to apply for the first round of the EPA Multipurpose Grant program. This project was one of only 11 multipurpose grants awarded nationwide. We are the only community of our size to be selected. That’s amazing!


The Front Yard Project Overview
  1. Details
  2. Benefits
  3. Background
  4. Brownfields Cleanup
  5. Frequently Asked
  6. Questions and Inquiries

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