FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Andy Beshear and Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Goodman announced Monday that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has selected five projects to receive $1.7 million in brownfield assessment grant funding.
“Even as we make sacrifices to protect the health and lives of our fellow Kentuckians during the coronavirus pandemic, these grants show our collective desire to move forward, to rebuild and to make our communities stronger,” Beshear said.
Beshear launched the Healthy at Work initiative in late April to guide the smart, safe and gradual reopening of the state’s economy. The initiative sets out public health benchmarks for reopening Kentucky’s economy. These benchmarks closely follow the White House’s Guidelines for Reopening America.
The grants, which are awarded through a competitive national review process, will help communities inventory, assess and plan the cleanup and redevelopment of properties that are contaminated or suspected of being contaminated. Brownfield funding is important for restoring economic prosperity to properties and communities where blight and neglect have created environmental, economic and social inequality.
Community-wide assessment grants were awarded to:
- Kentucky River Area Development District (KRADD) Hazard, KY – $300,000
- City of Frankfort, KY – $300,000
- Louisville / Jefferson County Metro Government – $300,000
- Northern Kentucky Area Development District (NKADD) Florence, KY – $300,000
A Coalition Assessment Grant was awarded to:
- Middlesboro Main Street / City of Middlesboro / City of Pineville – $500,000
Brownfields include sites such as old factories, abandoned hospitals, former service stations, mine-scarred lands and other properties where its former use has left environmental impacts. Assessment of these properties helps remove a barrier for redevelopment as it takes away the unknowns for those who may want to reuse a site for a business or a public space.
“These grants will enable these Kentucky communities to assess the cost and steps needed to reuse contaminated properties, which will stimulate economic development, protect the environment and improve the lives of the people living in these communities,” said Cabinet Secretary Goodman.
Since 2007, Kentucky communities, with help from the Kentucky Brownfield Redevelopment Program, have received over $16 million in EPA brownfield grants to help assess and remediate the estimated 8,000 brownfield properties in the commonwealth. The program offers assessments, grant review services, technical assistance and brownfield grant writing education to those communities and organizations that wish to revitalize properties with an environmental past.
“The Kentucky Brownfield Program has worked hard throughout the years to help communities, large and small, access this vital funding. This funding has historically been used as a catalyst for job creation and community enhancement. I hope this will allow our communities to continue to dream of what can be even when things are tough,” said Amanda LeFevre, Director of the Division of Compliance Assistance.
For more information about these grant recipients, go to https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/brownfields-fact-sheet-summary-all-fy16-grant-awardees.
If you are interested in brownfield revitalization and brownfield grants, contact the Kentucky Brownfield Redevelopment Program at 502-782-6189 or [email protected]. To read more about brownfield sites that have been cleaned and put back into productive reuse, go to: https://eec.ky.gov/Environmental-Protection/brownfields/Pages/brownfield-resources-and-education.aspx for links under Kentucky Case Studies.