The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced that it awarded a $200,000 Brownfields Area-Wide Planning (BF AWP) Grant to a PM Environmental client.
BF AWP Grants provide funding to communities to research, plan and develop implementation strategies for an area affected by one or more brownfields, particularly where sites are connected by infrastructure, in close proximity to one another, and limit the environmental, economic and social success of their surroundings. The resulting area-wide plans provide direction for future brownfields cleanup.
The funds will be used to redevelop a target area of Middlesboro, Kentucky. More specifically, five catalyst and high-priority brownfield sites located between the Historic Downtown and the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. Dubbed the “Trace District”, the area has varied property types, including residential, retail, commercial and light industrial.
“This is a unique opportunity for the City of Middlesboro,” said John Hargraves, brownfield group regional manager at PM Environmental. “This grant can be a catalyst for preparing them to be ready to take advantage of a growing regional tourism base anticipated over the next several years.”
Investment in planning efforts leads to future redevelopment that has a ripple effect throughout the community, creating new jobs, increasing local annual property taxes, and encouraging property investment.
PM Environmental prepared the successful application and, working alongside a planning firm, can assist the community in determining the reuse potential of multiple brownfield properties identified by the grant.
“We typically stick to assessment and cleanup grants,” said Jessica DeBone, PM Environmental Brownfield and Economic Incentive Consultant. “However, there was a lot of opportunity for this community to leverage an AWP grant that would help with the pursuit of future EPA assessment and cleanup funding.”