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Release Date: 05/21/2002
Contact Information: Dawn Harris-Young, EPA Media Relations, 404-562-8421
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it has awarded new grants under its Brownfields Assessment Demonstration Pilot program. In the southeast, 6 communities received funding for new Assessment Demonstration Pilots that fund the assessment of Brownfields properties. The assessment pilots are designed to empower states, cities, towns, counties and tribes to work together in a timely manner to assess and encourage cleanup of Brownfields properties in order to promote their sustainable reuse. In addition, 3 communities received supplemental funding to continue or expand their existing Brownfields program. With the help of these grants, state and local officials will compile information that will be used to attract potential developers for the location.

"Reclaiming America's brownfields properties is an effective way to help revitalize and reinvigorate our nation's blighted neighborhoods while at the same time preventing urban sprawl," said EPA Administrator Christies Whitman.

EPA defines brownfields as abandoned, idled, or under-used industrial and commercial facilities where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination. EPA's Brownfields Economic Redevelopment Initiative is an organized commitment to help communities revitalize such properties environmentally and economically, mitigate potential health risks and restore economic vitality to areas where brownfields exist. Experience gained from the brownfield pilots, along with partnerships and outreach activities, is providing a growing knowledge base to help direct the Agency's Brownfields Initiative.

Grants announced today include:

ANDERSON COUNTY, TN Brownfields Assessment Pilot $200,000

The Pilot targets potential brownfields in the Coal Creek watershed area for redevelopment in order to stimulate economic and environmental recovery of the area, which was devastated by the departure of the coal mining industry.

CATAWBA REGIONAL COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTS, SC Brownfields Assessment Pilot $200,000

The Pilot will primarily target former textile mill sites in a four-county region that has suffered economically due to the decline of the textile industry.

CITY OF COLUMBUS, GA Brownfields Assessment Pilot $200,000

The Pilot targets former industrial properties in the city's Enterprise Zone, one of the city's most economically distressed residential and industrial areas.

LAND-OF-SKY REGIONAL COUNCIL, NC Brownfields Assessment Pilot $200,000

The Pilot targets brownfields sites in the Land-of-Sky region for the purpose of stimulating economic and environmental recovery from the effects of industrial and residential migration to former greenfields and rural areas.

CITY OF LAURENS. SC Brownfields Assessment Pilot $200,000

The Pilot targets brownfields sites in downtown Laurens in order to revitalize the area into a viable business, visitor, and shopping center and help return economic stability to the city.

CITY OF NASHVILLE AND DAVIDSON COUNTY, TN Brownfields Assessment Pilot $200,000

The Pilot targets brownfields near low-income, high minority inner city neighborhoods along the waterfront in downtown Nashville.

CITY OF WILMINGTON, NC Brownfield Supplemental Assistance $100,000

This Pilot targets a 19-acre abandoned landfill adjacent to a disadvantaged, predominantly African-American community for redevelopment into public greenspace.

ESCAMBIA COUNTY, FL Brownfield Supplemental Assistance $150,000

The Pilot will target three additional sites within the Palafox Corridor Brownfield Redevelopment Area, which has suffered economically from industrial and military reshuffling.

CITY OF CLEARWATER, FL Brownfield Supplemental Assistance $150,000

The Pilot targets potentially contaminated properties within the 1,800-acre Clearwater Brownfields Area (CBA) located in the heart of the city for assessment and redevelopment planning.