Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
US EPA Awards Brownfields Grants to Communities

Press Release Date:  Friday, May 18, 2007  
Contact Information:  Jodi Whitaker

Laura Niles

$1.4 million to assist Louisville, Frankfort

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Kentucky has been awarded $1.4 million in grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use in cleaning up and revitalizing old industrial and commercial properties, restoring them to productive use.

Brownfield redevelopment has been a priority of Governor Ernie Fletcher’s administration. His “Jobs for Kentucky” tax modernization plan, enacted by the 2005 General Assembly, included tax incentives and important liability reforms to encourage the cleaning and redevelopment of potentially contaminated properties.

“I have long been convinced that brownfield sites once destined to be nothing more than abandoned eyesores can be redeemed and restored to productivity,” Governor Fletcher said. “Many can be transformed into flourishing economic machines, creating jobs and returning money to a community.”

The EPA awarded a $1 million grant to Metro Louisville for use as a revolving loan fund to support brownfield cleanups. The EPA also awarded grants of $200,000 each to Louisville and the city of Frankfort for assessment of sites with petroleum contamination.

“EPA is proud to be a part of this effort to turn problem properties into community assets," said Jimmy Palmer, EPA regional administrator in Atlanta.  “With this assistance, the city of Frankfort and the Louisville Metro Government will be making great strides in transforming the area into productive, revitalized properties, putting people and property back to work.”

Kentucky’s brownfield program is administered by the Division of Compliance Assistance in the Department for Environmental Protection. The division has made a concerted effort to help Kentucky communities compete for federal brownfield grant money. Last year, the division conducted a training course on writing brownfield grant applications, and representatives of Louisville and Frankfort attended.