The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has been awarded a $200,000 federal brownfields grant. It’s one of several grants, totaling $1.6 million, that will be used to assess and clean up brownfields sites across West Virginia.
A brownfield site is a piece of property that the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. The brownfields funding for West Virginia is part of a total of $54.3 million in grants awarded to 147 communities by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Among the communities selected for funding, more than 30 percent have been affected by plant closures, 40 percent by significant economic disruptions, and 42 percent by adverse natural disasters.
The DEP’s brownfields assessment grant can be used for the cleanup of hazardous substances for qualifying sites across the state. Community-wide hazardous substances grant funds will be used to prioritize brownfield sites in the Kanawha Valley, and to perform environmental site assessments. Grant funds also will be used to prepare up to five cleanup plans and conduct community outreach activities.
The EPA selected the Business Development Corporation of the Northern Panhandle for three brownfields cleanup grants totaling $600,000. The cities of Huntington and Martinsburg each received two $200,000 brownfields assessment grants.
The West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Centers at Marshall University and West Virginia University provided grant writing assistance and guidance to grant recipients. The WVBACs were created in 2005 by the West Virginia Legislature to empower communities to plan and implement brownfields redevelopment projects.
For details on the grants, go to the EPA’s go to the EPA’s Brownfields and Land Revitalization page at http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/.
For more DEP news and information, go to www.dep.wv.gov. Also, be sure to connect with the agency on all social media platforms. Follow @DEPWV on Twitter and find us on YouTube by searching “Environment Matters.” For specific information about the Adopt-A-Highway, West Virginia Project WET (Water Education for Teachers), West Virginia Watershed Improvement Branch, Youth Environmental Program and Human Resources initiatives, connect on Facebook.