Division of Compliance Assistance
Kentucky receives $600,000 in grants for contaminated land cleanup and economic development from the U.S. EPA

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, May 13, 2009  
Contact Information:  Mary Jo Harrod 800-926-8111  

FRANKFORT, KY – (May 12, 2009) – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson has announced the availability of an estimated $600,000 in grants, bolstered by funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, to help communities clean up sites known as brownfields, which may be contaminated by hazardous chemicals or pollutants.

Brownfields are properties that are abandoned or underutilized due to real or perceived contamination. They can, for example, include old factories, former gas stations, mine scarred lands and abandoned dry cleaning establishments. 

“This funding is an important step in helping these Kentucky communities address environmental issues that have created health concerns for their residents,” said Len Peters, secretary of the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet. “We are hopeful that these sites can once again become useful in helping to stimulate Kentucky’s economy as we move the state forward.”

The grants awarded to Kentucky communities include the following:

  • City of Georgetown -- Former Empire Pencil Factory $200,000 Cleanup Grant

    This money will be used to address lead contamination at the site, which was formerly the home of the Georgetown Police Department until health concerns were raised. Cleanup grants provide funding for grant recipients to carry out cleanup activities at brownfield sites they own.
  • Community Venture Corp. -- $200,000 Cleanup Grant for 265 Midland Avenue, Lexington
    More than five years ago, Community Ventures Corp. (CVC) began acquiring properties in the east end area with the goal of working with residents to create community-centered revitalization and redevelopment initiatives. Lexington's East End neighborhood is one of the most economically disadvantaged areas of Lexington. In a continuation of this effort, CVC has recently received a $200,000 U.S. EPA brownfield cleanup grant for the property at 265 Midland Ave., which was formerly a dry cleaning establishment. This site will be remediated and future development will be determined by a community-centered revitalization process. 
  • Cumberland Valley ADD––$200,000 Communitywide Assessment

    Assessment grants are used to conduct site assessment and planning for eventual cleanup at one or more brownfields sites or as part of a communitywide effort. The purpose of the Area Development District (ADD) is to improve the quality of life in the Cumberland Valley by promoting economic development to provide basic facilities essential to the stimulation of business, manufacturing, services, tourism and commercial activities; through efforts promoting human resource development to improve health, welfare and education systems within the eight-county area; and provide a forum for elected officials and citizens to reach a consensus and establish local-state-federal partnerships to seek a coordinated solution to problems.

    The Cumberland Valley ADD serves Rockcastle, Jackson, Clay, Laurel, Knox, Whitley, Bell and Harlan counties.

Communities in 46 states, four tribes, and two U.S. territories will share in a total of $111.9 million in grants to help revitalize former industrial and commercial sites, turning them from problem properties to productive business and community institutions. The grants include $37.3 million from the Recovery Act and $74.6 million from the EPA brownfields general program funding. Grant recipients are selected through a national competition. The Brownfield Program encourages development of America’s estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites.

President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 on Feb. 17, 2009, and has directed that the Recovery Act be implemented with unprecedented transparency and accountability. As a result, the American people can see how every dollar is being invested by visiting www.Recovery.gov. Kentuckians can also track how these ARRA dollars are being used by going online to www.kentuckyatwork.ky.gov.

For more information on brownfields cleanup revolving loan fund pilots and grants and other brownfields activities under the Recovery Act, visit http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/eparecovery/index.htm.

Additional information on the EPA Region 4 brownfields recipients and their projects is available at http://www.epa.gov/region4/waste/bf.