News Releases from Region 03
EPA announces $2.8 million in Brownfields grants for West Virginia
EPA designates a total of $54.5 million for Brownfields nationwide
WASHINGTON (April 25, 2018) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded 144 communities with Brownfields grants for environmental assessment, revolving loan funds, and cleanups. The 221 grants totaling $54.3 million will provide communities with funding to assess, clean up and redevelop underutilized properties while protecting public health and the environment. The grants include $2.8 million to support six Brownfields projects in West Virginia.
“EPA’s Brownfields Program expands the ability of communities to recycle vacant and abandoned properties for new, productive reuses, using existing infrastructure" said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. "These grants leverage other public and private investments, and improve local economies through property cleanup and redevelopment.”
“EPA’s Brownfields grants provide a boost to communities by helping to put people back to work while also creating cleaner, healthier and economically stronger neighborhoods,” said EPA Region 3 Administrator Cosmo Servidio. “West Virginia communities will use this funding to explore ideas on how properties can be cleaned up and returned to productive use.”
The six Brownfields projects in West Virginia include the following:
Huntington will receive an $800,000 revolving loan fund grant to support cleanup activities for Brownfields sites contaminated with hazardous substances or petroleum in the Highlawn neighborhood of Huntington. Funding also will be used to conduct community outreach activities.
“The award of this Brownfields grant is a continuation of Huntington’s partnership with the EPA,” said Huntington Mayor Steve Williams. “The grant provides us an additional tool toward realizing our goal of revitalizing our city and transforming the economy of the region.”
Weirton will receive an $800,000 revolving loan fund grant to support cleanup activities for Brownfields sites contaminated with hazardous substances or petroleum. Funding also will be used to conduct community outreach activities.
“Steel has been and will always be fundamental to the Weirton community, but the city no longer has to remain in the shadow of abandoned, crumbling steel mills,” said Weirton Mayor Harold Miller. “This new influx of EPA cleanup funding will leverage previous assessment and planning grants to finally clean up decades of industrial contamination, promote new manufacturing on old Brownfields, and create new opportunities for the community.”
Region 2 Planning Development Council (Southwestern, W. Va.) will receive $600,000 to conduct site assessments on properties that could be contaminated with hazardous substances, and determine the feasibility for cleanup and redevelopment. Assessments will focus on mine-scarred lands within the Metro Valley Corridor. Funds will also support community outreach activities.
“Region 2 Planning and Development Council is honored to be selected by EPA for this exciting initiative,” said Executive Director of the Council Chris Chiles. “This grant leverages previous funding and investments from federal, state, and local agencies, and we are excited for the EPA to be a critical partner in the future redevelopment and diversification of southwestern West Virginia. This grant will transform known Brownfields properties into attractive locations for new economic development, which is critical to the future success of West Virginia and the entire Appalachian Region.”
Fairmont will receive $200,000 to conduct site assessments on properties that may be contaminated with hazardous substances, and determine the feasibility for cleanup and redevelopment. Assessments will focus on the Riverfront, Downtown, and University Districts. Funds will also support community outreach activities.
“The City of Fairmont is thrilled to accept a Brownfields Grant from the EPA,” said Director of Planning and Development Sandra Scaffidi. “This grant will enable the city to build on our existing momentum as we continue to revitalize our Brownfields, vacant lots, abandoned buildings and other priority areas. Our plan centers on Coal Run, an underutilized natural asset that links educational and recreational prospects in an at-risk neighborhood with cleanup and redevelopment opportunities throughout the city.”
Fayette County will receive $200,000 to conduct site assessments on properties in the City of Montgomery that may be contaminated with hazardous substances, and determine the feasibility for cleanup and redevelopment. Funds will also support community outreach activities.
“In response to the prolonged downturn of coal markets and the departure of major regional employers, the Fayette County Commission has been working closely with leadership in the City of Montgomery to spark resilient economic growth and community wellness in the Upper Kanawha Valley,” said President of the Fayette County Commission Matt Wender. “The commission is honored to be receiving EPA Brownfields funding that will allow us to address the blighted properties standing in the way of our collective efforts to build a quality of place that highlights Montgomery's unique assets and fosters a healthy, vibrant community.”
The Southern Coal Camp Authority (Delbarton, W.Va.) will receive $200,000 to clean up the former Burch High School/Middle School property at 127 Eutaw Avenue in Delbarton. The schools closed in 1994 and part of the site was later used by the Town of Delbarton to store miscellaneous supplies. The 1.1-acre site is contaminated with inorganic contaminants. Funds will also support community outreach activities.
“On behalf of the Southern Coal Camp Authority, I would like to thank EPA for this opportunity,” said Authority Treasurer Tracy Slone. “This is the first step for the Southern Coal Camp Authority to help redevelop this property for our Coal Camp Community and to help our community grow.”
The Brownfields Program targets communities that are economically disadvantaged and provides funding and assistance to transform contaminated sites into assets that can generate jobs and spur economic growth. A study analyzing 48 Brownfields sites found that an estimated $29 million to $97 million in additional tax revenue was generated for local governments in a single year after cleanup. This is two-to-seven times more than the $12.4 million EPA contributed to the cleanup of these Brownfield sites. Another study found that property values of homes located near Brownfields sites that are cleaned up increased between 5 and 15 percent post cleanup.
Communities can use Brownfields funding to leverage considerable infrastructure and other financial resources. For example, EPA’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund can be used to address the water quality aspects of Brownfield sites and the assessment and construction of drinking water infrastructure on Brownfields, respectively. EPA’s Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program may also serve as a potential source of long-term, low-cost supplemental financing to fund Brownfields project development and implementation activities to address water quality aspects of Brownfields.
List of the FY 2018 Applicants Selected for Funding: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/applicants-selected-fy18-brownfields-assessment-revolving-loan-fund-and-cleanup-grants.
For more information on the ARC grants: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/types-brownfields-grant-funding.
For more information on EPA’s Brownfields Program: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields.
For more information on how Brownfields restoration has positively impacted local economies and the quality of life for neighboring communities: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/brownfields-success-stories.