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Industrial Land and Contamination

Land within the LA River watershed has historically been occupied by industrial and commercial businesses. Some of these businesses have historically introduced contaminants into the soil and groundwater beneath many of the properties. In some cases, the original businesses and/or owners no longer exist.

Prior to revitalization, industrial and commercial properties will have to be assessed and evaluated by current landowners to determine if they are contaminated. If contaminated, they will require cleanup to make them safe for the intended land use (e.g., parks, public facilities, affordable housing, etc.). Assessment, evaluation, and clean-up will be coordinated through one of the federal, state, or county environmental agencies, such as the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), State Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB), or LA County Department of Environmental Health.

Contaminated/Clean-up Sites
LA County Map. Map with dots locating contaminated sites across LA County.
Map and ruler showing listed contaminated/clean-up sites as of March 2020.
Regional Water Quality Control Board Geotracker online database. DTSC Environstor online database.

Funding Sources and Streams for Redevelopment of Contaminated Properties

Funding to assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse contaminated properties is available through various local and federal agencies. The type of funding available is dependent on the project stage, site conditions, and parties involved in the redevelopment project (e.g., public, private, non-profit).

Funding is not guaranteed. A site’s eligibility for funding is evaluated through an application process overseen by the given funding agency. A list of potentially available funding sources is provided below.

For more information on industrial land and contamination, please see the Appendix II: Technical Backup Document.

Environmental Process
Assessment Evaluation Environmental Desktop Review

Site Reconnaissance and Interviews

Intrusive Sampling and Chemical Testing Data Evaluation and Reporting

Clean-Up Excavation/Removal

Treatment in Place


Closure Unrestricted Use

Restricted Use with Land Use Covenant

Long-Term Monitoring and Maintenance

Typical environmental process of assessing and cleaning up contaminated land.
Geosyntec, 2020. Brownfield grant funding analysis for LA River Master Plan.

Funding Sources for Contaminated Sites
Agency Fund Name Max Funding Who Assessment Clean-up Applied Across Multiple Sites?
Grants Loans Grants Loans
EPA Site-Specific Assessment $350k 1,3
Community-Wide Assessment $300k 1,3
Assessment Coalition $600k 1,3
Clean-Up $500k 1,3
Revolving Loan $1M 1,3
Multi-Purpose $800k 1,3
DTSC Targeted Site Investigation Program $200k 1,3
Investigating Site Contamination Program $100k 1,2,3
Revolving Loan Fund $200k 1,2,3
CLEAN Program (for Assessments) $100k 1,2,3
CLEAN Program (for Clean-Up) $2.5M 1,2,3
CAWQCB Site Clean-Up Subaccount NL 1,2,3
Groundwater Grant $50M 1,3
Groundwater Treatment and Remediation $20M 1,3
Underground Storage Tank Clean-Up NL 2
Orphan Site Clean-Up Fund $1M 2
Cal-Recycle Illegal Disposal Site Abatement $500k 1
Legacy Disposal Site Abatement $750k 1


  1. Public Entities
  2. Private Businesses and Individuals
  3. Non-Profit Organizations

$k: Thousands of dollars
$M: Millions of Dollars
NL: Not Listed

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