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EPA Awards Brownfields Grants in South Carolina

Release Date: 06/15/2004
Contact Information: Dawn Harris-Young, (404) 562-8421,
Grants total $625,000 for assessments and cleanups

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it has awarded Brownfields Grants to help communities in the state of South Carolina evaluate the environmental contamination of brownfield sites. The Brownfields grants help revitalize former industrial and commercial sites, turning them from problem properties to productive community use.

Brownfields are sites where expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. In January 2002, President Bush signed the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act, which authorizes up to $250 million in funds annually for Brownfields grants. The 2002 law expanded the definition of what's considered a Brownfield, so communities may now focus on mine-scarred lands or sites contaminated by petroleum or the manufacture and distribution of illegal drugs.

Grants announced today include:

AIKEN COUNTY, SC Brownfields Assessment Grant $200,000 for hazardous substances

Grant funds will be used to conduct community outreach, perform site assessments, conduct health monitoring activities for surrounding communities, and develop cleanup and reuse plans at a 22-acre abandoned, burned textile mill property.

CHARLESTON, SC, Brownfields Assessment Grant $200,000 for petroleum

Grant funds will be used to inventory sites with potential petroleum contamination in the city's Renewal Community, conduct community outreach activities, conduct assessments, perform health monitoring in surrounding communities, and plan cleanup and remediation at two sites.

REGENESIS, INC., SPARTANBURG, SC Brownfields Cleanup Grants $100,000 for hazardous substances, $100,000 for petroleum

Hazardous substances grant funds will be used to clean up the 30-acre North Street Dump Site at 971 S. Liberty Street. This largely vacant site with elevated polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbon contamination has been used for mill storage and casual dumping. Petroluem grant funds will be used to clean up leaks from inactive underground storage tanks at the 3-acre Arkwright Mills Site, which was an operating textile mill until 1979.

SOUTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL Brownfields Assessment Grant $25,000 for hazardous substances

Grant funds will be used in the Town of Jackson to assess a former service station site and conduct community outreach. The site has five old underground storage tanks that do not meet regulatory standards. Other tanks have yet to be found.

In all, 219 applicants, including five tribal nations, were selected to receive 265 grants. The $75.4 million will provide:

    • 155 assessment grants totaling $37.6 million to be used to conduct planning for eventual cleanup at one or more Brownfield sites or as part of a community-wide effort.
    • 92 cleanup grants totaling $16.9 million to provide funding for grant recipients to carry out cleanup activities at Brownfield sites they own.
    • 18 revolving loan fund grants totaling $20.9 million to provide funding for communities to capitalize a revolving loan fund and to provide subgrants to carry out cleanup activities at Brownfields sites. Revolving loan funds are generally used to provide low or zero interest loans for Brownfields cleanups.
In March, 16 communities received job training grants totaling $2.47 million to teach environmental-cleanup job skills to 1,080 individuals living in low-income areas near Brownfields sites. To date, more than 60 percent of people completing Brownfields training programs have obtained employment in the environmental field with an average hourly wage of $12.84.

The Brownfields program encourages redevelopment of America's estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites. Since the beginning of the Brownfields program, EPA has awarded 554 assessment grants totaling over $150 million,171 revolving loan fund grants totaling over $145 million, and 66 cleanup grants totaling $11.4 million.

In addition to industrial and commercial redevelopment, Brownfields approaches have included the conversion of industrial waterfronts to river-front parks, landfills to golf courses, and rail corridors to recreational trails. EPA's Brownfields assistance has leveraged more than $5.8 billion in private investment, helped create more than 27,000 jobs and resulted in the assessment of more than 4,500 properties.

For more information on the grant recipients, go to: