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Release Date: 06/20/2003
Contact Information: Dawn Harris, (404) 562-8421
As part of ongoing efforts to promote economic revitalization while safeguarding the environment and public health, the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it has awarded Brownfields Assessment Grants to six cities and one Regional Planning Council in the southeast. The grants were made available from the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act. Brownfields are abandoned, idled or under-used industrial and commercial facilities where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination.

The assessment grants announced for the southeast will be used to inventory, characterize and conduct planning relating to one or more Brownfield sties or as part of a community-wide effort. The 2002 law expanded the definition of what's considered a Brownfield, so communities may now focus on sites contaminated with petroleum, as well as lands scarred by mining. The grants announced today include:

Augusta, Georgia ($200,000 for hazardous substances)

The city intends to use grant funds to perform environmental site assessments on abandoned properties in the disadvantaged, predominantly minority Hyde Park neighborhood.

Clearwater, Florida ($200,000 for hazardous substances and $200,000 for petroleum)

Grant funds will be used to perform assessment for both hazardous substances and petroleum contamination at two sites. The city also will use funding to assess hazardous substances at another property and to perform assessments for lead and asbestos at ten sites and petroleum contamination at a substation and two additional sites to be determined through community input.

Cocoa, Florida ($200,000 for hazardous substances)

The city will focus on its state-designated Cocoa Enterprise Zone (EZ). It will be used to determine the number and type of brownfield sites in the EZ, develop a quality assurance management plan, conduct seven Phase I assessments on sites selected with community input, complete limited Phase II assessments of five sites, and complete ten asbestos and lead-based paint surveys.

Concord, North Carolina ($200,000 for hazardous substances)

The city will focus on high-priority sites within the economically distressed and deteriorating center of the city. Grant funds will be used to complete an inventory of brownfields within the center city target area, prioritize sites, and conduct environmental assessments on high-priority properties.

Farmville, North Carolina ($200,000 for hazardous substances)

Grant funds will be used primarily for assessment of a site that was formerly used for metal fabrication and for the manufacture of compounds used in superconducting magnets for computers, auto electronics, and medical equipment.

Florence, South Carolina ($200,000 for hazardous substances)

The city intends to use grant funds to perform environmental site assessments on brownfields in seven targeted areas of the city, including a 20-acre site that inhibits economic growth in a nearby low-income, predominantly minority neighborhood.

Greensboro, North Carolina ($200,000 for hazardous substances)

Grant funds will be used to conduct assessment activities in the South Elm Street neighborhood. This area covers about 10 acres in a three-block area south of downtown and contains a mixture of vacant industrial and commercial areas.

Jacksonville, Florida ($200,000 for hazardous substances)

The city has targeted two urban watersheds and community redevelopment areas for assessment with this grant. Grant funds will be used to conduct area-wide site assessments to identify sites with potential contamination issues and to prioritize sites with redevelopment potential for phase II site assessments.

Louisville, Kentucky

The city will use grant funding to conduct assessments at a site in West Louisville, most of which is within the city's federally designated Enterprise Community.

Rock Hill, South Carolina ($200,000 for hazardous substances)

The city will use grant funds to conduct four Phase II assessments of former textile mills in the Arcade-Westside neighborhood area.

Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council, Southeast Florida ($200,000 for petroleum)

The council plans to use most of the grant funds to solicit local government and community support to identify eligible petroleum-contaminated brownfield sites for assessment, perform environmental assessments on selected sites, and complete pre-cleanup planning.

The Brownfields program encourages redevelopment of America's 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites. Currently, more than 44 different Brownfields-to-greenspace projects (such as parks, trails and nature preserves) are in various stages of completion. EPA's Brownfields assistance has leveraged more than $4.6 billion in private investment, helped create more than 20,000 jobs and resulted in the assessment of more than 4,000 properties. For more information go to http:://