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More Than $1 Million in EPA Grants to Help Revitalize Communities in South Carolina

Release Date: 05/12/2006
Contact Information: Laura Niles, 404-562-8353,

(ATLANTA – May 12, 2006) The cities of Columbia, Florence, and Greenville, S.C. and the Catawba Regional Council of Governments in Rock Hill, S.C., have been named as successful applicants of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Brownfields grants that promote the redevelopment of abandoned and contaminated or potentially contaminated waste sites. The combined total of Brownfields grant funds for assessment or cleanup of properties in South Carolina will be more than $1 million.

Columbia will receive $200,000 in petroleum grant funds and $200,000 in hazardous substances grant funds to perform environmental site assessments, conduct public involvement activities, inventory sites, monitor health of citizens near selected sites and develop cleanup and redevelopment plans for affected neighborhoods, primarily the city’s Empowerment Zone and the East Central City and Eau Claire/North Columbia communities.

Florence will receive $200,000 in assessment grant funds to conduct environmental site assessments and develop cleanup and redevelopment plans for a 20-acre area known as the Triangle, which serves as the gateway to downtown Florence. Florence will also receive $200,000 in cleanup grant funds for the cleanup of hazardous substances and petroleum contamination at the former Bush Recycling site at 102 West Sumter Street.

Greenville will receive $200,000 in assessment grant funds to perform environmental site assessments in the West Greenville/Reedy River corridor and to support cleanup and redevelopment planning in the community.

The Catawba Regional Council of Governments will receive $200,000 in assessment grant funds for the inventory and prioritization of brownfields and to perform environmental assessments and develop reuse plans in the urban core of the City of Rock Hill. Abandoned brownfields in Rock Hill include remnants of the textile industry, service stations, drycleaners, and stores selling fertilizer and pesticides.

In the Southeast, 22 applicants were selected to receive grants for assessment or cleanup of properties. Nationally, communities in 44 states and two territories, as well as three tribes will share $69.9 million in grants to help transform community eyesores into community gems. Since the beginning of the brownfields program, EPA has awarded 883 assessment grants totaling $225.4 million, 202 revolving loan fund grants totaling $186.7 million, and 238 cleanup grants totaling $42.7 million.

Brownfields are sites where expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. In January 2002, President Bush signed the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act, which authorizes up to $250 million in funds annually for brownfields grants. The 2002 law expanded the definition of what is considered a brownfield, so communities may now focus on mine-scarred lands or sites contaminated by petroleum or the manufacture and distribution of illegal drugs.

More information on the grant recipients in the Southeast and throughout the nation:

More information on the Brownfields program: