EPA Brownfield Grant Awarded
JEFFERSON COUNTY AWARDED $200K TO DEVELOP COMPREHENSIVE BROWNFIELD ASSESSMENT
EPA has selected Jefferson County for a brownfields assessment grant in the amount of $200,000. Community-wide hazardous substances grant funds will be used to conduct five Phase I and four Phase II environmental site assessments. Grant funds also will be used to develop a comprehensive GIS-based inventory of existing and potential brownfield sites, prepare approximately four sampling and analysis plans, and conduct community outreach activities.
“Developing a county-wide inventory of brownfield sites will place a magnifying glass on the environmental and economic issues which most impact the growth and sustained economic development of our region,” said Ben Wehmeier, Jefferson County Administrator. “This investment in the county establishes a baseline for future investments in brownfield remediation and will empower our communities and property owners to then help track improvement at these locations over time.”
JCEDC Board Chairperson and Watertown Mayor John David said, “Our county and communities will be strengthened by the knowledge we gain from this assessment. This is the beginning of comprehensive regional alignment to elevate the use of properties struggling from choices of the past.”
According to JCEDC Executive Director Genevieve Borich, PhD, AICP, “Some of the most valuable buildings and sites within the county need extensive remediation so they may be put to better use; this grant empowers our community’s leaders to prioritize investment in key properties in our area.”
EPA’s Brownfields Program empowers states, communities, and other stakeholders to work together to prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse brownfields. A brownfield site is real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. In 2002, the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act was passed to help states and communities around the country cleanup and revitalize brownfields sites. Under this law, EPA provides financial assistance to eligible applicants through four competitive grant programs: assessment grants, revolving loan fund grants, cleanup grants, and job training grants. Additionally, funding support is provided to state and tribal response programs through a separate mechanism.