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U.S. EPA to Help Bishop, Calif., Meet Sustainability Goals, Revitalize Downtown

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Soledad Calvino (

SAN FRANCISCO – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that 25 communities across the nation will receive technical assistance to pursue development strategies that advance clean air, clean water, economic development and other local goals. In California, the City of Bishop will receive assistance for identifying strategies and tools to attract redevelopment to the town’s center.

"We are thrilled that the City of Bishop will benefit from this program," said Alexis Strauss, EPA's Acting Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “By providing technical assistance, our Building Blocks program will help local leaders guide their communities towards a prosperous, more sustainable future.”

EPA will assist the city in identifying specific opportunities to update its municipal code to allow for increased residential densities and mixed use development to revitalize Bishop's downtown. EPA will also help explore incentives for property owners to invest in improvements, encouraging redevelopment of vacant and underutilized parcels, promoting infill, and optimize parking requirements. To support the implementation of these strategies, the City of Bishop will receive the Agency's technical assistance engage with community members, meet housing needs for a different ages and incomes, and fund efficient public infrastructure and operations.

EPA selected this year's recipients from among 76 applicants to the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities program. In 2017, EPA staff and national experts will conduct one to two-day workshops to help the community address development-oriented issues.

Nationally, the agency is offering five assistance tools this year: Green and Complete Streets, Equitable Development, Planning for Infill Development, Sustainable Strategies for Small Cities and Rural Areas, and Flood Resilience for Riverine and Coastal Communities. EPA selected communities located in 19 states: Skykomish, WA; Willamina, OR; Bishop, CA; Apache Junction, AZ; Questa, NM; Raton, NM; Pueblo, CO; Pine Ridge, SD; Randolph, NE; Brownsville, TX; Logansport, LA; Acadia Parish, LA; Winona, MN; Detroit, MI; Fairview Park, OH; Manatee County, FL; Miami, FL; Myrtle Beach, SC; Kingston, NY; Pocomoke City, MD; Baltimore, MD; Central Falls, RI; Wareham, MA; Hartford, CT; and Lenox, MA.

Since 2011, the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities program has provided assistance to 130 communities in 41 states. As a result of this assistance, community groups, local governments, and tribal governments across the nation have increased their capacity to successfully implement smart growth and sustainable approaches that protect the environment, improve public health, create jobs, expand economic opportunity, prepare for the effects of climate change, and improve overall quality of life.

More information on the Building Blocks program: