EPA Awards $492,000 Brownfields Assessment Grant to Natchez, Mississippi
JACKSON, Miss. (May 18, 2021) – Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 4 Acting Deputy Regional Administrator Carol Monell joined state and local officials to award the City of Natchez a $492,000 Brownfields Assessment Grant.
The grant will be used to develop a Geographic Information System-based site inventory and to conduct environmental assessments. Assessment activities will focus on the Downtown Natchez and Adams County Industrial Park target areas. Priority sites include the MLK Triangle Filling Station, Titan Tire, and the Natchez Pecan Shelling Company. Coalition partners are Adams County and the Friends of the Riverfront Natchez. Grant funds also will be used for community engagement activities.
“EPA’s brownfields program provides critical funding to lift up and protect underserved and overburdened communities,” said Carol Monell, EPA Region 4 Acting Deputy Regional Administrator.” “We commend the City of Natchez and community leaders for your efforts to address and improve the environmental, public health, economic and social impacts associated with contaminated and abandoned sites, and we look forward to seeing the fruits of this collaboration.”
“This EPA grant will jumpstart a long-sought effort to revitalize polluted areas of Natchez, including the Titan Tire site, for potential economic development and job creation. The EPA Brownfields Program is successful because it requires collaboration with cities, counties, states, and the private sector, which we have here. I look forward to seeing progress from this grant to Natchez, as well as recent awards to Greenville and Yazoo City,” said U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), who serves on the Senate Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee.
“I’d like to thank the EPA for its attention to this important project. It’s a great step towards future economic development for Natchez and Adams County that will help secure opportunities for the people of Southwest Mississippi,” said Congressman Michael Guest (M-03).
“We are proud of the successes we have had in Mississippi working with communities and EPA to obtain Brownfields grants that make a real difference in revitalizing previously underused properties. The most current grants will continue efforts to improve the environment as well as help boost the economy of these local communities. Since 2006, Mississippi communities have been awarded more than 43 Brownfield grants worth over $17 million, and that is a direct result of the hard work of our community leaders, their grant writing staffs, and the staff of Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, MDEQ’s Brownfield Program,” said Chris Wells, MDEQ Executive Director.
“As Mayor of the City of Natchez I would like to convey our sincerest appreciation to the U.S. Environmental Agency for recognizing our brownfield redevelopment efforts with the awarding of a 2021 Brownfield Coalition Assessment Grant. We look forward to continuing our partnership with our grant coalition partners, the Adams County Board of Supervisors, and Friends Of Riverfront (F.O.R) Natchez as we move into this new opportunity to encourage community revitalization,” said Mayor Dan Gibson. “In addition, I would like to thank EPA Administrator Michael Regan, Senator Roger Wicker, Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith and Congressman Michael Guest for their continued support along with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality Executive Director Chris Wells and his staff.”
“This grant brings $492,000 back into Adams County and includes a much-needed revenue source allowing Natchez and Adams County to strategically plan for the future. The project will not only benefit our economy by increasing our county's property value, it will improve the environment by identifying steps needed for a safer, healthier county. Additionally, it highlights the teamwork between the county supervisors, the mayor, and the city aldermen as we check off yet another achievement on our joint government agenda,” said Angela Hutchins, President of the Adams County Board of Supervisors.
Last week, the EPA announced the selection of three projects in Mississippi for Brownfields grants totaling $1,042,000. This funding will support underserved and economically disadvantaged communities in assessing and cleaning up contaminated and abandoned industrial and commercial properties.
Nationally, EPA selected 151 communities to receive 154 grant awards totaling $66.5 million in Brownfields funding through its Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup (MAC) Grants. Approximately 50 percent of selected recipients will be receiving EPA Brownfields Grant funding for the first time, and more than 85 percent are located in or serve small communities. In the southeast, 37 grants totaling over $14 million will go to organizations or communities across the eight southeastern states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
The list of the fiscal year 2021 applicants selected for funding is available here: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/applicants-selected-fy-2021-brownfields-multipurpose-assessment-and-cleanup-grants. EPA anticipates that it will award the grants once all legal and administrative requirements are satisfied by the selected recipients.