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

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

(ATLANTA – May 12, 2006) The cities of Durham, Forest City, Navassa, Pembroke and Sparta, the Piedmont Triad Council of Governments, and the Land-of-Sky Regional Council in North Carolina 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 North Carolina will be over $1 million.

Durham will receive $200,000 in hazardous substances assessment grants to perform environmental site assessments and prepare cleanup and redevelopment plans for sites in the Pettigrew Street Corridor of Northeast Central Durham. Funds will also be used to conduct community outreach and monitor the health of surrounding populations.

Forest City will receive $200,000 in cleanup grant funds to cleanup tetrachloroethene-contaminated soil and groundwater at the Florence Mill Redevelopment Project site at 186 Mill Street. Redevelopment of the Florence Mill is expected to attract at least $16 million in private investment to redevelop the old mill buildings, create new jobs and generate tax revenue for the town.

Navassa will receive $200,000 in assessment grant funds to perform environmental site assessments and develop cleanup and reuse plans for the Cape Fear Meat Packing Plant site, which was used for fertilizer production and meat packing activities since the early 1900s.

Pembroke, the political, economic, and social center of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, will receive $200,000 in petroleum grant funds for the inventory and prioritization of brownfields, environmental site assessments, health monitoring and community outreach in areas where abandoned oil and chemical plants are prevalent.

Sparta will receive $50,000 in assessment grant funds to characterize chlorinated solvent contamination at the Sparta Teapot Museum site. Permanent groundwater monitoring wells will be installed and soil and groundwater sampling will be conducted.

The Piedmont Triad Council of Governments in Central North Carolina will receive $200,000 in assessment grant funds to conduct community involvement activities, inventory and prioritize sites and perform environmental assessments at sites in Lexington, Eden and Reidsville.

The Land-of-Sky Regional Council in Western North Carolina will receive $400,000 in assessment grant funds for identifying, characterizing and prioritizing properties and performing environmental assessments for hazardous substances and petroleum brownfields sites in four counties: Buncombe, Henderson, Madison and Transylvania. Funds also will be used for cleanup planning and community involvement activities.

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: