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Energy & Environment

W.Va. Communities Receive Nearly $3 Million in Brownfields Assessment and Clean-up Funding From EPA

Brownfields site in Columbus, OH.
Dnpatton
/
Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that West Virginia communities will receive nearly $3 million of Brownfields funding through its Multipurpose, Assessment and Cleanup (MAC) Grants.

Brownfields is a blanket term for contaminated and abandoned industrial and commercial properties. This funding will support underserved and economically disadvantaged communities across the country in assessing and cleaning up contaminated and abandoned industrial and commercial properties.

For West Virginia, 85 percent of the recipients receiving awards are first -time grantees, all targeted cities being considered have populations less than 50,000, and most meet the micro-community threshold of less than 10,000.

The EPA’s Brownfields Program has provided nearly $1.76 billion in grants to assess and clean up contaminated properties and return them to productive reuse.

The funding announced today will bring the total level of Brownfields grant funding in West Virginia communities to over $37 million since 1997. A total of 99 grants have been awarded to 43 communities, which has resulted in 1,285 acres representing 79 properties being readied for reuse.

According to grant program statistics, West Virginia communities have assessed close to 325 sites and cleaned up 22 sites.

The 2021 MAC grant recipients in West Virginia are:

Belomar Regional Council, Upper Ohio River Valley, WV and OH Assessment Grant $600,000

The EPA has selected Belomar Regional Council for a Brownfields Assessment Coalition Grant. Community-wide grant funds will be used to develop a prioritized site inventory and conduct 15 Phase I and 11 Phase II environmental site assessments. Grant funds also will be used to develop two clean-up plans and two reuse plans, and support community outreach activities. Assessment activities will focus on municipalities in the Upper Ohio River Valley in both West Virginia and Ohio. Priority sites include the Great Stone Viaduct, which is a former railroad property in Bellaire, Ohio; the Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel Building, which is a 12-story vacant office building in the central business district of Wheeling, West Virginia; the Fostoria Glass Site, which is a former glass company in Moundsville, West Virginia; and the vacant Ohio Valley Medical Center campus and the Grow Ohio Valley Food Enterprise Center in Wheeling.

Bluefield West Virginia Economic Development Authority, Bluefield, WV Cleanup Grant $452,292

The EPA has selected the Bluefield West Virginia Economic Development Authority for a Brownfields Clean-up Grant. Grant funds will be used to clean the 300-400 Block of Federal Street. The site is a contiguous city block of parcels in downtown Bluefield that once housed various commercial businesses, including a Montgomery Ward Department Store, an Armed Forces Recruiting Center, Deaton’s Music World, a J.C. Penney Department Store, the former Bluefield Bus Depot, and the former Bluefield Fire Department. All sites are currently vacant and contaminated with inorganic contaminants. Grant funds also will be used to support clean-up planning and community outreach activities.

Boone County Community Development Corporation, Madison, WV

Cleanup Grant $181,794

The EPA has selected the Boone County Community Development Corp. for a Brownfields Clean-up Grant. Grant funds will be used to clean up the former Lyon Oil Property located at 10 Ave. C in the City of Madison. The clean-up site was formerly used as an ice storage facility and as a bulk petroleum storage facility, and more recently as a used oil collection, storage and recycling facility. It is contaminated with various petroleum-based products, including gasoline, diesel fuel, and used oil. Grant funds also will be used to develop a reuse plan for the property.

Kanawha County Commission, Montgomery, Marmet, Belle, Charleston, South Charleston, and St. Albans, WV Assessment Grant $600,000

The EPA has selected Kanawha County Commission for a Brownfields Assessment Coalition Grant. Community-wide grant funds will be used to conduct 18 Phase I and eight Phase II environmental site assessments. Grant funds also will be used to develop clean-up and reuse plans for 12 sites and conduct community outreach activities. Assessment activities will focus on the cities of Montgomery, Marmet, Belle, Charleston, South Charleston, and St. Albans. Priority brownfield sites include the former Union Carbide above-ground tank farm, the former Bartlett Burdette Cox Funeral Home, the historic Union Building, a former K-Mart property, the former Montgomery City pool, which includes a fueling location for boat traffic, and the Clendenin Rail Trail Trailhead, which is located on an abandoned railroad right of way. Coalition partners are the City of Charleston, the City of South Charleston, and the Charleston Area Alliance.

Paden City Development Authority, Paden City, WV Cleanup Grant $500,000

The EPA has selected the Paden City Development Authority for a Brownfields Clean-up Grant. Grant funds will be used to clean up the Paden City Industrial Park located at 330 South First Ave. in Paden City. For over 75 years, the 8.6-acre clean-up site was used by the Paden City Pottery and Corning Glass Works companies to manufacture dinnerware. The process of making pottery from clay and applying the glaze led to the site being contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and heavy metals. Grant funds also will be used to support community outreach activities.

Region 4 Planning and Development Council, Sam Black Church, Rainelle, and Ronceverte, WV Assessment Grant $300,000

The EPA has selected the Region 4 Planning and Development Council for a Brownfields Assessment Grant. Community-wide grant funds will be used to develop 10 Phase I and six Phase II environmental site assessments. Grant funds also will be used for clean-up planning and community involvement activities, including 12 public meetings. Priority sites include the former Black Diamond Mining coal loading facility in Sam Black Church, the former Drennen/Grant retail properties and former East Rainelle Grade School in Rainelle, and the former Mullican Lumber Sawmill in Ronceverte, which is located within a federally designated floodplain.

Wheeling, WV Cleanup Grant $359,953

The EPA has selected the City of Wheeling for a Brownfields Clean-up Grant. Grant funds will be used to clean the 3-acre Robrecht Riverfront property at 1905 Main St. in the City of Wheeling. The clean-up site is a former railroad right-of-way dating back to the mid-1800s. Since the 1970s, when railroad operations ceased, the site has been used by trespassers for uncontrolled parking, waterway access, squatting, and illegal activities. It is contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, PCBs and heavy metals.

The EPA anticipates that it will award the grants once all legal and administrative requirements are satisfied by the selected recipients.


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