EPA Selects Five Projects in South Carolina to Receive $1.44 Million for Brownfields Cleanup and Assessment
The grant awards help underserved communities across the country Build Back Better and address Environmental Justice concerns
COLUMBIA, SC (May 13, 2021) - This week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the selection of three projects in South Carolina for Brownfields grants totaling $1,440,000. This funding will support underserved and economically disadvantaged communities across the country in assessing and cleaning up contaminated and abandoned industrial and commercial properties.
This funding will support underserved and economically disadvantaged communities across the country in assessing and cleaning up contaminated and abandoned industrial and commercial properties. 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 serving small communities.
“Through our Brownfields Program, EPA is delivering on the Biden Administration’s commitment to lifting up and protecting overburdened communities across America, especially communities that have experienced long periods of disinvestment and decay,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “These assessment and cleanup grants will not only support economic growth and job creation, but they will also empower communities to address the environmental, public health, and social issues associated with contaminated land.”
“EPA’s Brownfields funding has a proven track record of transforming communities and turning abandoned and contaminated sites into true public assets,” said EPA Acting Region 4 Administrator John Blevins. “Brownfields projects spur economic development and attract jobs, grow innovative and lasting partnerships, and can revitalize underserved communities.”
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 serving 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 grant recipients in South Carolina include:
Aiken - $300,000 Assessment Grant will be used to conduct 15 Phase I and eight Phase II environmental site assessments. Grant funds also will be used to develop four cleanup plans and support community outreach activities. Assessment activities will focus on the city’s Downtown and Northside District. Priority sites include half of a city block that contains multiple vacant storefronts, including a dry cleaner and a newspaper printing operation; and a parcel that once housed a fertilizer company, a cotton oil production facility, and a bulk oil distribution facility.
Butler Heritage Foundation - $240,000 Cleanup Grant will be used to clean up the former Butler High School at 1103 South 6th Street in the City of Hartsville. The cleanup site operated as a public high school from the early 1930s until 1982 and was then used as a warehouse until 1991. It is contaminated with inorganic contaminants. Grant funds also will be used to develop a Public Involvement Plan and host four community meetings.
Columbia Development Corporation - $300,000 Assessment Grant will be used to conduct 10 Phase I and five Phase II environmental site assessments. Grant funds also will be used to develop four cleanup plans and three reuse plans, and support community outreach activities. Assessment activities will focus on the neighborhood of South Edisto in southeast Columbia. Priority sites include a compacted gravel parking area, a site that has housed fertilizer production and an asphalt plant, and a former tape and plastic stencil manufacturing facility.
Florence - $300,000 Assessment Grant will be used to conduct seven Phase I and six Phase II environmental site assessments. Grant funds also will be used to develop five cleanup plans, three site-specific reuse plans, and one area-wide plan, and support community outreach activities. Assessment activities will focus on the North Florence neighborhood. Priority sites include a former La-Z-Boy upholstery plant, a former South Carolina pecan distribution facility, and a former clothing manufacturer.
Mauldin - $300,000 Assessment Grant will be used to inventory sites, conduct 12 Phase I and eight Phase II environmental site assessments, and prepare four cleanup plans. Grant funds also will be used to prepare a Community Involvement Plan and host eight community education meetings. Assessment activities will focus on the city’s Central Redevelopment District. Priority sites include a former automotive detailing shop and a former laundromat in the City Center development.
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.
Since its inception in 1995, EPA's Brownfields Program has provided nearly $1.76 billion in grants to assess and clean up contaminated properties and return them to productive reuse. This has led to significant benefits for communities across the country. For example,
- To date, communities participating in the Brownfields Program have been able to attract more than $34.4 billion in cleanup and redevelopment funding after receiving Brownfields funds. This has led to over 175,500 jobs in cleanup, construction, and redevelopment.
- Based on grant recipient reporting, recipients leveraged on average $20.13 for each EPA Brownfields dollar and 10.3 jobs per $100,000 of EPA Brownfield Grant funds expended on assessment, cleanup, and revolving loan fund cooperative agreements.
- In addition, an academic peer-reviewed study has found that residential properties near brownfield sites increased in value by 5% to 15.2% as a result of cleanup activities.
- Finally, analyzing data near 48 brownfields, EPA found an estimated $29 million to $97 million in additional tax revenue for local governments in a single year after cleanup—2 to 7 times more than the $12.4 million EPA contributed to the cleanup of those brownfield sites.
For more on the Brownfields Grants: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/types-epa-brownfield-grant-funding
For more on EPA’s Brownfields Program: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields