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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded $1.5 million to East Bay Community Energy (EBCE) and the cities of Richmond and Vallejo to identify and prepare contaminated properties known as “brownfields” for redevelopment. 

EBCE, a not-for-profit provider of renewable energy, will use its $300,000 share of the grant to complete environmental assessments of brownfields in Alameda County and the city of Tracy, in San Joaquin County, with the goal of developing electric vehicle (EV) charging hubs. 

EBCE said the charging hubs, which would include solar-energy arrays and battery storage, could also provide electricity during blackouts. 

Created by Alameda County and several municipalities in 2018, the agency currently serves Albany, Berkeley, Dublin, Emeryville, Fremont, Hayward, Livermore, Newark, Oakland, Piedmont, Pleasanton, San Leandro, Tracy, Union City, and unincorporated areas of the county. 

Vallejo received $600,000 to fund redevelopment efforts on Mare Island and along the city’s downtown waterfront. Richmond will use its $600,000 share of the grant to repurpose brownfields close to transit in central and northern parts of the city for affordable and workforce housing.