News Releases from Region 04
Seven Communities in South Carolina Receive $2.2 million in Brownfield Grants to Return Blighted Properties to Productive Reuse and Promote Economic Redevelopment
ATLANTA – Today, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has selected 144 communities, including seven in South Carolina, for Brownfields environmental Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup grants. In total, 221 grants totaling $54.3 million will provide communities with funding to assess, clean up and redevelop underutilized properties while protecting public health and the environment. Of this total, approximately $8.9 million went to 36 communities in the southeast.
“EPA’s Brownfields Program expands the ability of communities to recycle vacant and abandoned properties for new, productive reuses, using existing infrastructure" said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. "These grants leverage other public and private investments, and improve local economies through property cleanup and redevelopment.”
“Brownfields Assessment and Cleanup grants target communities that are economically disadvantaged and provide assistance where environmental cleanup and new job opportunities are needed,” said Region 4 Administrator Trey Glenn. “These funds mean a great deal to these communities.”
"The State of South Carolina is thrilled with the news of the $2,200,000 EPA Brownfields grant," said Myra C. Reece, Director of Environmental Affairs, SC Department of Health and Environmental Control. "This is a tremendous opportunity to coordinate with our federal partners to begin the process of bringing abandoned or underutilized properties back as meaningful assets in our state."
The following community/communities in South Carolina will receive funding for community-wide Brownfields assessment activities and cleanup planning:
- City of Aiken - $300,000 ($200,000 for hazardous substances and $100,000 for petroleum) Hazardous substances and petroleum grant funds will be used to conduct environmental site assessments, develop cleanup plans and conduct community outreach activities. Assessment activities will focus on the Downtown and Northside communities of Aiken.
- Catawba Regional Council of Governments, Chester, Lancaster, Union, and York Counties- $600,000 ($500,00 for hazardous substances and $100,00 for petroleum) Hazardous substances and petroleum grant funds will be used to conduct environmental site assessments, develop cleanup plans and conduct community outreach activities. Assessment activities will focus on the counties of Chester, Lancaster, Union, and York, which also are the coalition partner organizations for this grant.
- City of Clinton - $300,000 ($200,000 for hazardous substances and $100,000 for petroleum) Hazardous substances and petroleum grant funds will be used to conduct environmental site assessments, develop cleanup plans and conduct community outreach activities.
- City of Greenville - $300,000 ($200,000 for hazardous substances and $100,000 for petroleum)
- Assessment activities will target the city’s Reedy River Redevelopment Area.
- City of Greenwood - $200,000 ($200,000 for hazardous substances) Hazardous substances grant funds will be used to clean up the Greenwood Foundry property located at 1801 Foundry Road. Grant funds also will be used to conduct community outreach activities.
- Pelzer Heritage Commission, Pelzer, SC - $200,000 for hazardous substances - Hazardous substances grant funds will be used to clean up the former Upper Pelzer Mill located at the intersection of Smythe and Stevenson Streets. Grant funds will also be used to develop a community involvement plan and support community outreach activities.
- City of Pickens - $300,000 ($200,000 for hazardous substances and $100,000 for petroleum) Hazardous substances and petroleum grant funds will be used to conduct environmental site assessments (Assessment activities will focus on Census Tract 104.02) and develop cleanup plans. Grant funds will also be used to prepare an inventory of brownfields, prioritize sites, and conduct charrettes and visioning sessions.
The Brownfields Program targets communities that are economically disadvantaged and provides funding and assistance to transform blighted sites into assets that can generate jobs and spur economic growth. A study analyzing 48 brownfields sites found that an estimated $29 million to $97 million in additional tax revenue was generated for local governments in a single year after cleanup. This is two to seven times more than the $12.4 million EPA contributed to the cleanup of these brownfield sites. Furthermore, another study found that property values of homes located near brownfields sites that are cleaned up increased between 5 and 15 percent after cleanup.
In addition, communities can use Brownfields funding to leverage water infrastructure loans and other financial resources. For example, EPA’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund can be used, under certain conditions, to address the water quality aspects of brownfield sites and the assessment and construction of drinking water infrastructure on brownfields, respectively. EPA’s Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act program may also serve as a potential source of long-term, low-cost supplemental financing to fund brownfields project development and implementation activities to address water quality aspects of brownfields.
List of the FY 2018 Applicants Selected for Funding:
For more information on the ARC grants: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/types-brownfields-grant-funding
For more information on EPA’s Brownfields Program: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields
For more information on how brownfields restoration has positively impacted local economies and the quality of life for neighboring communities: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/brownfields-success-stories