Brownfields are abandoned, idle, or underutilized industrial and commercial properties where redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination. Brownfields can be as small as an old corner gas station or as large as a manufacturing facility. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfield Program helps communities address potential health risks and restore the economic viability of brownfield properties.
In May 2015, the EPA awarded the Lexington a $200,000 brownfields cleanup grant. The grant will be used to help clean up the former Fayette County Courthouse on Main Street. The building was built in 1898 and operated as the community's judicial center until 2002. Contaminants at the site include asbestos, lead-based paint, mold, and guano.
The 2015 grant was not the first that Lexington had received. Earlier, the EPA awarded Lexington $400,000 to assess possible brownfield sites in Fayette County. A total of 13 properties voluntarily participated in the assessment grant program. The Phase I assessments identified recognized environmental conditions at 9 of the 13 sites tested. Phase II assessments were performed at the 9 sites. Contamination was found at six of the sites.
The assessment grant helped facilitate redevelopment, as several of the properties assessed through this grant are in the process of being redeveloped now to include The Old Pepper Distillery on Manchester Street and Thistle Station on Newtown Pike.
The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government has established a Brownfields Information Repository in the Kentucky Room at the Lexington Central Library located at 140 East Main Street. We will add new documents as they become available. Documents available in the library can be accessed through the links below. Email us if you have any questions.