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EPA awards $900,000 in brownfield grants to Kentucky communities

FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 1, 2017) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has selected four projects to receive a total of five grants in Kentucky for brownfield assessment or cleanup, the Energy and Environment Cabinet announced today.

Grants awarded to Kentucky communities include:

Bowling Green — $300,000 in communitywide assessment grants

The EPA has selected the city of Bowling Green for two brownfields assessment grants. Communitywide hazardous substances and petroleum grant funds will be used to conduct 12 Phase I and eight Phase II environmental site assessments, and prepare four cleanup plans. Grant funds also will be used to update a brownfields inventory and support community outreach activities.

Estill County 21st Century, Inc. — a $200,000 cleanup grant

The EPA has selected Estill County 21st Century Inc. for a brownfields cleanup grant. Hazardous substances grant funds will be used to clean up the Mack Theater at 114 Main Street in Irvine. The cleanup site formerly operated as a livery, steam laundry, garage, and a movie theater. The site is contaminated with metals, solvent organic compounds and inorganic contaminants. Grant funds also will be used to support community involvement activities.

Kentucky River Foothills Development Council Inc.  — a $200,000 cleanup grant

The EPA has selected the Kentucky River Foothills Development Council Inc. for a brownfields cleanup grant. Hazardous substances grant funds will be used to clean up the former Parker Seal Rubber Plant at 103 Lewis Street in Berea. The six-acre cleanup site housed a facility that manufactured rubber O-rings from 1950 to 2001 and has been unoccupied since then. The site is contaminated with trichloroethene and debris. Grant funds also will be used to support community outreach activities.

Discover Downtown Middlesboro — a $200,000 cleanup grant

The EPA has selected Discover Downtown Middlesboro for a brownfields cleanup grant. Hazardous substances grant funds will be used to clean up the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks Home property at 2022 Cumberland Avenue. The cleanup site formerly served as a convalescent home for the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks from 1911 to 1919. From 1919 through the 1950s, the property housed a hospital, followed by offices, apartments and various storefronts until the building was vacated in 2012. The site is contaminated with metals and inorganic contaminants. Grant funds also will be used to support community involvement activities.

Over the past 11 years, with the help of the Kentucky Brownfields Redevelopment Program, a part of the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection’s Division of Compliance Assistance, Kentucky communities have received $13.3 million in EPA brownfields grants to help assess and remediate the estimated 8,000 brownfield properties in Kentucky. The Kentucky Brownfields Redevelopment Program offers assessment and grant review services, technical assistance and brownfields grant writing education to those communities and organizations that wish to revitalize properties with an environmental past.

Brownfields are properties that are abandoned or underutilized due to contamination or the perception of contamination. They can include old factories, abandoned hospitals, old schools, former service stations and mine-scarred lands.

“Brownfield redevelopment is rewarding because it allows communities to create economic development opportunities where problem properties existed, and is a great example of public-private partnerships working to better communities,” said DEP Commissioner Aaron Keatley.

“EPA brownfield grants provide a critical boost to help communities move these abandoned properties into safe and productive reuse,” said Herb Petitjean, Brownfield Coordinator, Kentucky Brownfield Redevelopment Program.

For more information about these sites, visit https://cfpub.epa.gov/bf_factsheets/. If you are interested in brownfields revitalization and brownfields grants, contact the Kentucky Brownfields Redevelopment Program at 502-564-0323 or [email protected].

To read more about brownfield sites that have been cleaned and put back into productive reuse, go to http://dca.ky.gov/Pages/ResourceDocuments.aspx under DCA Case Studies: Brownfields.

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