With an EPA brownfields investment of $58,400, the QuikTrip on Rutherford Street yielded an additional $4 million in capital improvements and 20 full-time jobs.
Since 2000, the City of Greenville has received approximately $1.8 million from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) brownfield grants. These grants have helped ensure a healthy environment, and have been leveraged into more than $60 million in economic development and more than 176 jobs in the city. The latest grant was awarded to the City in 2014 in the amount of $400,000 to fund assessments and outreach for a three-year period. The City is currently in the process of completing this grant, and looking for opportunities to bring additional brownfield assessment and job training grants to the area.
Jobs, quality of life, and the variety of services available in our community are positively impacted when we identify and address Brownfields. Brownfields are properties where the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. Assessing, cleaning up, and reinvesting in these properties protects the environment and community health, reduces blight, and takes development pressures off undeveloped woodlands and farms outside the city.
Brownfields can be old gas stations, auto shops, dry cleaners, industrial sites – anywhere chemicals, solvents, fertilizers, and fuels may have been used regularly or stored. Spills of these chemicals into the environment may have gone undetected for years, but can be costly to clean up. While most of these sites pose little to no risk to the community, the potential for unknown cleanup costs can deter potential developers from turning these sites into something new to benefit the community. So, Brownfields may sit underutilized or abandoned for years, usually in districts that have not seen the growth and increase in value that nearby areas have experienced. They can cause blight as they fall into disrepair and bring down the desirability of surrounding property.
What You Can Do
- Stay informed: The Community Connections monthly newsletter provides updates about the City's brownfields program. Subscribe to the newsletter.
- Partner with us: Federal brownfields funding is awarded via a competitive grant process. To be successful, we need your letters of support, list of sites to be assessed, and workforce training and hiring needs.
- Tell us what you think: Do you have questions about a possible brownfield in your neighborhood? Do you have a suggestion or comment to share about the Brownfields project? Your questions and comments will help us make the best use of the opportunities provided by this grant. For more information, contact Christa Jordan or Ashlee Tolbert by phone at 864-467-4570 or email email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The video includes excerpts from a presentation given by Robert Hodges, SCDHEC Brownfields and Drycleaning Program Manager, Harold Shapiro, Manager of the state's Brownfield Loan Fund, and David Sykes, brownfields consultant.