The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently approved a technical services application to further investigate the former Rath Meat Packing Plant located along Sycamore Street in downtown Waterloo. The 5.5-acre property contains an 8-story building totaling over 700,000 square feet of space currently used for cold storage. EPA’s Targeted Brownfields Assistance (TBA) program will fund the completion of soil and groundwater sampling, an asbestos inspection, lead based paint survey, and PCB investigation. The work also includes preparation of an Analysis of Brownfields Cleanup Alternatives (ABCA) report.
City Council approved a development agreement with Crystal Distribution Services, Inc. on May 17, 2021 that will eventually transfer ownership to the City for $2.9 million. EPA Brownfields Assessment Grant funds allowed the City to satisfy All-Appropriate Inquiry (AAI) prior to taking title. Crystal agrees to re-purchase the property for construction of a new cold storage facility totaling no less than 100,000 square feet, as well as related landscaping, paving and parking improvements at a minimum estimated investment of $10 million.