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Thursday, Oct 6, 2022
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EPA Puts Ballpark on a Pedestal

The Petco Park and East Village revitalization project recently received a Phoenix Award from the Environmental Protection Agency for its positive effect on a formerly neglected area of San Diego.

The national award, given out once a year at the EPA Brownfields National Conference, is one of only nine given to projects in the United States. Most of the redeveloped land in Downtown San Diego was so-called brownfields, or previously contaminated land.

The project was a collaboration among the Centre City Development Corp., Opper & Varco LLP, Environmental Business Solutions, and the county of San Diego Department of Environmental Health.

CCDC, the city’s planning and redevelopment agency during the Petco project, used the Polanco Redevelopment Act for the work. The act requires property owners to be accountable for cleaning up hazardous materials on their property, and removing contaminated soils and water from the site.

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The 47.5-acre site was formerly home to an area that was largely blighted with abandoned warehouses and industrial yards.

This marks the fifth award given to Petco Park. The development has received an Alonzo award from the Downtown San Diego Partnership; a Brownfield Project of the Year Award from the California Redevelopment Association; a Smart Growth Award for Excellence from the Urban Land Institute, San Diego/Tijuana chapter; and a Project of the Year honor by the American Public Works Association, San Diego and Imperial counties chapter.

The EPA will present the Phoenix Award at its Nov. 4 Brownfields 2005 ceremony in Denver.

“We’re fortunate in Downtown to have the infrastructure necessary to assemble land and create large civic projects that improve the lives of all San Diegans,” said David Allsbrook, CCDC senior project manager, who managed the cleanup.

Added Chris Spengler, Environmental Business Solutions project manager: “We are dealing with more than a hundred years of industrial uses and their waste products. Nobody looking at that site before the ballpark could have imagined the new housing, jobs, and entertainment venues we have today. It was an incredible rebirth.”

Pat Broderick

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