EPA Selects Three Projects in Tennessee to Receive $1.5 Million for Brownfields Cleanup and Assessment
The grant awards help underserved communities across the country Build Back Better and address Environmental Justice concerns
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (May 13, 2021) – This week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the selection of three projects in Tennessee for Brownfields grants totaling $1,500,000. 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 Tennessee include:
Campbell County - $600,000 Assessment Grant will be used to inventory sites and conduct five Phase I and five Phase II environmental site assessments at priority sites and 21 Phase I and 12 Phase II environmental site assessments at non-priority sites. Grant funds also will be used to prepare 10 cleanup plans and conduct community outreach activities. Assessment activities will focus on the City of Rocky Top and the Tennessee Railroad Corridor, which runs through Campbell, Anderson, and Scott Counties, including the Town of Hunstville. Priority sites include two railroad spurs along 15 miles of the Tennessee Railroad Corridor, a coal preparation plant located at the southern end of the Tennessee Railroad Corridor in Anderson County, the vacant Stony Fork School located near one of the railroad spurs, and a former grocery store in the City of Rocky Top. Coalition partners are Anderson County and the North East Tennessee Railroad Authority, whose members represent Campbell, Anderson, and Scott Counties.
Dunlap, TN - $300,000 Assessment Grant will be used to conduct six Phase I and six Phase II environmental site assessments. Grant funds also will be used to prepare six cleanup plans and an area-wide plan, and to conduct community outreach activities. The target area for this grant is a one-mile section of the Rankin Avenue Corridor between State and Main Streets, which is anchored by the city’s central business district and has an 11.6 percent vacancy rate. Priority sites include the former 2.6-acre Dunlap Industries facility, which operated as a zipper manufacturer and main employer until 2018, a former automotive service garage, a former gas station, the former Dunlap High School, and a former local Health Department building.
East Tennessee Development District - $600,000 Assessment Grant will be used to inventory and prioritize sites and conduct 12 Phase I and five Phase II environmental site assessments. Grant funds also will be used to develop five cleanup plans and support redevelopment planning and community outreach activities. Assessment activities will focus on distressed areas within Scott County, Roane County, the City of Morristown, and the City of Rocky Top, which are the applicant’s coalition partners. Priority sites include a former auto salvage yard and an adjacent abandoned concrete plant in Rocky Top; a former truck terminal and maintenance garage in Morristown; and a former auto parts manufacturer and an abandoned grocery store in Roane County.
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