Federal government awards $1 million in brownfield grants to Kentucky communities

Assessment and cleanup grants to benefit contaminated properties with redevelopment potential

FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 4, 2015) – The Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Brownfield Redevelopment Program today announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has selected four projects in Kentucky for brownfield communitywide assessment grants and cleanup grants.

Brownfields are properties that are abandoned or underutilized due to contamination or the perception of contamination. They can include old factories, abandoned hospitals, old schools, former service stations and mine-scarred lands.

“These brownfield communitywide assessment and cleanup grants will enable the four Kentucky communities to move forward with cleaning and redeveloping contaminated properties, which will stimulate economic development, protect the environment and improve the lives of the people living in these communities,” said DEP Commissioner Bruce Scott.

Over the past nine years, with the help of the Kentucky Brownfield Redevelopment Program, Kentucky communities have received $9.3 million in EPA brownfield grants to help assess and remediate the estimated 8,000 brownfield properties in Kentucky. The Kentucky Brownfield Redevelopment Program offers assessment and grant review services, technical assistance and brownfield grant writing education to those communities and organizations that wish to revitalize properties with an environmental past.

Grants awarded to Kentucky communities include:

  • Cumberland Valley Area Development District (CVADD)––$400,000 CommunityWide Assessment Grants

The CVADD communitywide hazardous substances and petroleum grant funds will be used to conduct an inventory of brownfield sites and perform approximately 17 Phase I and nine Phase II environmental site assessments. Grant funds also will be used to prepare up to eight cleanup plans and conduct community outreach activities.

  • Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government ––$200,000 Cleanup Grant

This grant will provide funding to the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government to clean up hazardous substances at the former Fayette County Courthouse at 215 West Main Street. The building was constructed in 1898 and operated as the community’s judicial center until 2002. Contaminants at the site include metals, inorganic materials, mold and guano.

  • Vanceburg––$200,000 Cleanup Grant

Hazardous substances grant funds will be used to clean up the Old Shoe Factory at 185 Rowley Avenue in Vanceburg. The site’s historical land uses include a tannery in the late 1800s, shoe factory in the early 1900s, war surplus building and general hardware store. The site is contaminated with heavy metals and inorganic contaminants. Grant funds also will be used to conduct community outreach activities and to implement a health monitoring program.

  • YMCA of Greater Louisville––$200,000 Cleanup Grant

Hazardous substances grant funds will be used to clean up a former cigarette manufacturing facility that is the site of the future West Louisville YMCA at 1700 West Broadway. The soil beneath the building is contaminated with heavy metals. Grant funds also will be used to develop a site-specific community relations plan and to conduct community engagement activities.

For more information about these sites, go to http://cfpub.epa.gov/bf_factsheets/. If you are interested in brownfield revitalization and brownfield grants, contact the Kentucky Brownfield Redevelopment Program at 800-926-8111 or envhelp@ky.gov. To read more about brownfield sites that have been cleaned and put back into productive reuse, go to http://dca.ky.gov/Pages/ResourceDocuments.aspx under DCA Case Studies: Brownfields.