Checks were handed over Thursday for economic development on Des Moines’ industrial southeast side. The EPA’s Jim Gulliford says the agency wants to encourage the other seven cities in Iowa with polluted “brownfield” sites to build industrial zones like the new Agrimergent Technology Park. He says often there’s already infrastructure like power and water in place so it’s economically smart to re-develop. Gulliford went to Iowa State University and worked for the state Ag Department for years before joining the federal agency. He points out the technology park is within a stone’s throw of the riverfront greenbelt on the capital city’s southeast side. He says the same water under the site could become a city’s drinking water. Gulliford presented checks from the EPA’s “smart growth” program: $45,000 to Des Moines for continuing development at the technology park, and $115,000 to Des Moines Waterworks to strengthen the safeguards on the city water system. The EPA’s working on local brownfield sites with local leaders in Sioux City, Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, Davenport, Dubuque, Coralville and Fort Dodge.
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