FRANKFORT, Ky. — Three Kentucky communities will get over $1.4 million in U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grants to assess “brownfields” – industrial and commercial properties that are known or suspected to contain a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant.
Gov. Andy Beshear and Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Goodman said the recipients are:
- City of Elizabethtown – $400,300
Community-wide Assessment grant funds will be used to inventory, prioritize and/or conduct environmental assessments of 22 sites, support community outreach activities and develop up to 10 brownfield cleanup plans. The city will target the East Dixie Avenue Corridor, where many commercial and industrial buildings are now unoccupied or underutilized. Priority sites include a 5.75-acre former automotive dealership, a former motel, a dilapidated 4-acre retail strip, and a former liquor store and office complex.
- City of Paducah – $500,000
Community-wide Assessment grant funds will be used to inventory, prioritize and/or conduct environmental assessments of 19 sites, develop nine cleanup plans and support community outreach activities. The city will target the city’s riverfront, gateway and southside corridors. Priority sites include an 81,000-s.f. historic event space and music hall that is vacant and in disrepair, a 1.4-acre property with numerous vacant commercial service businesses, a 3.3-acre vacant and dilapidated hospital building, a former movie theater, an abandoned gas station, and a 2.8-acre abandoned and deteriorating warehouse.
- Cumberland Valley Area Development District – $500,000
Community-wide Assessment grant funds will be used to inventory, prioritize and/or conduct environmental assessments of 19 sites, develop nine cleanup plans and three resource roadmaps, and support community outreach activities. The target areas for this grant are the cities of Cumberland, Benham, and Lynch, all of which have been severely impacted by the closure of coal mines in the area. Priority sites include a former power company, an unused section of rail line, an unused 8,500-s.f. building that once housed a medical clinic, a 61-year-old former gas station, and a 25,000-s.f. building that was formerly a high school.
“This funding will help these Kentucky communities take a great step towards turning vacant or abandoned property into sites that will bring jobs and take advantage of the emerging industries locating in the state,” Beshear said. “Making investments in the health of our infrastructure and our citizens is the best way to ensure that all of us thrive today and into the future.”
“These EPA grants will make it possible for these Kentucky communities to reimagine and eventually reuse their blighted properties,” Goodman said. “This is essential not only for the environment but also for the health and vitality of these communities.”
EPA’s Brownfield Program has provided over $1.7 billion in grants nationwide since the program’s 1995 inception. With sites for economic development in tight supply, over the next five years, brownfields redevelopment programs nationwide will take on new opportunities to invest in infrastructure due to the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (“Infrastructure Law”). Because of the new Infrastructure Law, EPA’s Brownfields grants for FY 2023 have increased to:
- $10 million for Brownfields Multipurpose Grants
- $10 million for Brownfields Assessment Grants
- $10 million for Brownfields Revolving Loan Funds
- $5 million for Brownfields Cleanup Grants
Solicitations for the FY 2023 grants are expected to be announced later this summer. Both rural and urban entities, particularly in underserved communities, are encouraged to apply for this next round of EPA Brownfield grants. Eligible entities include local governments, 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organizations, and quasi-governmental agencies. First-time applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the Kentucky Brownfield staff for guidance and support prior to submitting their applications. In addition, a letter of support from the Kentucky Brownfield Redevelopment Program is required of all applicants.
For more information about Kentucky’s grant recipients or to inquire about funding for restoring the environment and helping communities with economic recovery, contact Eric Eisiminger at 502-782-6601 or Lynn True at 502-782-6484. For an overview of EPA’s Brownfields grants, please visit Types of EPA Brownfield Grant Funding | US EPA. For information regarding solicitations for FY 2023 Brownfield grants proposals, please visit Solicitations for Brownfield Grants | US EPA.
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