FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded $500,000 to the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet (KY EEC) for cleaning up contaminated brownfield sites.
Across the nation, $11.6 million in funding will be given to 27 communities that have shown success in using their previously awarded Brownfields Revolving Loan Funding (RLF) grants to clean up and redevelop brownfield sites. This comes from the Biden-Harris Administration’s drive to address environmental issues in under-served communities.
“Many of the brownfields cleanups supported by EPA’s Revolving Loan Funding are in economically disadvantaged communities where environmental cleanup and jobs are needed most,” said Carlton Waterhouse, Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Office of Land and Emergency Management. “This supplemental funding will help sustain and increase the great progress these communities have made in cleaning up brownfields sites, while also helping them become stronger, healthier, and more economically competitive.”
“Brownfields funding provides an economic boost that will help the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet clean up contaminated lands and return them to productive use,” said Acting Region 4 Administrator John Blevins. “These funds will leverage additional resources to help advance the redevelopment and reuse needs of the community.”
Since fiscal year 2012, the KY EEC has funded eight cleanup projects since their first award. Loans will be provided to the Owsley County Alliance Seale Theater for ongoing asbestos remediation in a historic theater space and Bluegrass Station for lead paint and asbestos in former steam plant. KY EEC helps with various cleanups around the state, mainly small projects in rural and low-income areas.
According to the EPA, brownfield RLF grants enable funding for communities to provide loans and sub-grants for cleanup activities at brownfield sites. When loans are repaid, the loan amount is returned into the fund and re-lent to other borrowers, providing an ongoing source of capital within a community.
Across America, EPA’s RLF grantees have conducted 794 cleanups and brought in 48,000 jobs and $16.2 billion in public and private funding. The latest supplemental funds help help maintain communities’ cleanup momentum. Each grantee will receive between $200,000 to $500,000.