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.
Lexington is currently seeking public comments on a draft EPA Brownfield Program clean-up grant application for the Old Fayette County Courthouse located at 215 West Main Street. EPA’s Brownfields Program provides funds to empower communities to clean up and reuse underutilized sites. Lexington is requesting $200,000 in Fiscal Year 2015 clean up grant funds.
A public meeting about the grant application will be held on Monday, December 1 at 5:30 p.m. at the Phoenix Building, 101 East Vine Street. Comments on the application can also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Brownfield Program helps communities address potential health risks and restore the economic viability of brownfield properties. Lexington earlier received a $400,000 in EPA Brownfield Program Assessment Grant funds to assess Fayette County brownfield sites. The funds are being used to identify potential brownfield sites that could benefit by being assessed, to perform environmental site assessments, and to develop cleanup plans. Half of the funds are being used for properties that may be contaminated by petroleum, with the remaining half being used for properties that may be contaminated with hazardous substances.
Participation in the Assessment Grant Program is voluntary for property owners, and the site assessments and cleanup plans are performed at no cost. This is a community-wide assessment grant that can be used on any property in the county that meets eligibility requirements.
Assessing brownfield properties in our community is the first step in developing a plan to revitalize and reclaim these pieces of property.