CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) and several communities throughout the state have been awarded a total of nearly $2 million in federal grant money to assess and remediate brownfields.
A brownfield site is a property for which the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant.
The WVDEP will use its $820,000 grant to capitalize a revolving loan fund program. Low interest loans will be available to qualified private sector businesses, local government entities and nonprofits; and subgrants will be awarded to local government entities and nonprofits upon consideration of project plans. These loans and subgrants will support cleanup activities for sites contaminated with hazardous substances and petroleum. Based on the grant focus, projects in the Ohio Valley region will get priority status. However, the revolving loan fund is available to communities throughout the state.
“This grant will allow us to set up our revolving loan fund and begin assisting brownfields cleanups very soon,” said Patty Hickman, the director of the WVDEP’s Division of Land Restoration. “Over the coming years, because of these low-interest loans, the amount of money available for brownfields cleanups will increase and more projects can be funded.”
All loan and grant recipients will be required to enroll in the DEP’s Voluntary Remediation Program to ensure that cleanups are conducted in a way that is protective of human health and the environment. The brownfields revolving loan fund is detailed in West Virginia Code §22-22-6.
The other fiscal year 2016 West Virginia competitive grants awarded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) include:
- $52,000 to clean up the former Jimmy Carey Stadium property in Hancock County
- $106,000 to clean up the Lodge at the Williams property in Hancock County
- $200,000 to clean up the former Kenova Grade School in Wayne County
- $200,000 to clean up the Thomas West Riverfront in Tucker County
- $600,000 to assess properties in the Brooke and Hancock county areas
The West Virginia grants are among 218 grants totaling $55.2 million awarded to 131 communities across the nation. For specifics about any of those grants, go to the U.S. EPA’s website at this link: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/brownfields-current-news-and-events.
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 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 our REAP (Rehabilitation Environmental Action Plan), West Virginia Project WET (Water Education for Teachers), West Virginia Watershed Improvement Branch, Youth Environmental Program and Human Resources initiatives, connect on Facebook.