05/09/10 — Grant will help county locate, map contaminated sites

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Grant will help county locate, map contaminated sites

By Staff Reports
Published in News on May 9, 2010 1:50 AM

Wayne County will utilize an Environmental Protection Agency $400,000 grant to conduct an assessment study to determine how many abandoned industrial and commercial properties throughout the county could be considered a Brownfields site.

A Brownfields site is a property that cannot be redeveloped or reused because of the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.

According to the EPA, Brownfields program encourages redevelopment of America's estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites. These investments and jobs target local, under-served and economically disadvantaged neighborhoods -- places where environmental cleanups and new jobs are most needed.

Sue Farmer, facilities services director for Wayne County, who applied for the grant, said she believes the county has at least 100 sites which will qualify as a Brownfields site.

Wayne County was one of four counties in the state which received a Brownfields grant.

In the county's acceptance letter, David R. Louyd, director of the Office of Brownfields and Land Revitalization, EPA, Washington, DC wrote, "Wayne County submitted an outstanding grant proposal and we deeply appreciate the tremendous commitment of time and energy that went into its preparation."

Ms. Farmer learned about the grants at a Council of Government workshop. She contacted Goldsboro City Planning Director Randy Guthrie regarding sites in the city.

"After talking with him, I felt like we would have enough sites to do it countywide," she said.

Ms. Farmer and a staff member spoke with representatives from all the municipalities throughout the county, asking if they had sites that could potentially qualify.

"Then I put together a proposal, asked for $400,000 to conduct the assessment and we found out last week that we will be getting the money," she said. "This phase will assess sites and after we finish the assessment phase -- which will probably take about 18 months -- we will apply for a clean-up grant."

Ms. Farmer said it was likely the county would receive a second grant for clean up of the sites.

"Usually if you get the first one, you'll get the second grant in this situation," she said.

For more information, visit www.epa.gov/brownfields.