Merkley, Wyden: $500,000 to Harney Country for Brownfield Cleanup

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced Harney County has received $500,000 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to clean up hazardous materials at the two-acre former Lincoln School site in Burns.  

“This funding is a major win for Harney County’s natural resources, community members’ health, and the local economy,” said Merkley. “Redeveloping Brownfield sites ignites growth in communities, revitalizes properties long forgotten, and most importantly, creates jobs.”

“This federal investment in Burns will convert an old brownfield into bright new job opportunities and more for this rural community,” Wyden said. “I’m gratified Harney County has secured these federal funds, and will keep working to secure similar resources that help build an even stronger economy and quality of life for all of Eastern Oregon.”

The EPA announced $8,240,000 to expedite the assessment and cleanup of seven brownfield sites in Oregon, of which Harney County was one.


EPA’s Brownfields Program began in 1995 and has provided nearly $2.37 billion in Brownfield Grants to assess and clean up contaminated properties and return blighted properties to productive reuse. EPA’s investments in addressing brownfield sites have leveraged more than $36 billion in cleanup and redevelopment. Over the years, the relatively small investment of federal funding has leveraged, from both public and private sources, nearly 260,000 jobs. Communities that previously received Brownfields Grants used these resources to fund assessments and cleanups of brownfields, and successfully leverage an average of 10.6 jobs per $100,000 of EPA Brownfield Grant funds spent and $19.78 for every dollar.