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Northern Kentucky Area Development District gets $300K in EPA brownfield funding, one of five in state

Staff report

The Northern Kentucky Area Development District (NKADD) is one of five Kentucky recipients sharing $1.7 million in brownfield assessment grant funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Gov. Andy Beshear and Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Goodman made the announcement Monday.

“Even as we make sacrifices to protect the health and lives of our fellow Kentuckians during the coronavirus pandemic, these grants show our collective desire to move forward, to rebuild and to make our communities stronger,” Beshear said.

The grants, which are awarded through a competitive national review process, will help communities inventory, assess and plan the cleanup and redevelopment of properties that are contaminated or suspected of being contaminated.

Brownfield funding is important for restoring economic prosperity to properties and communities where blight and neglect have created environmental, economic, and social inequality.

Community-wide assessment grants were awarded to:

Kentucky River Area Development District (KRADD) Hazard – $300,000
City of Frankfort – $300,000
Louisville / Jefferson County Metro Government – $300,000
Northern Kentucky Area Development District (NKADD) Florence – $300,000

A Coalition Assessment Grant was awarded to Middlesboro Main Street/City of Middlesboro/City of Pineville – $500,000

Brownfields include sites such as old factories, abandoned hospitals, former service stations, mine-scarred lands and other properties where its former use has left environmental impacts. Assessment of these properties helps remove a barrier for redevelopment as it takes away the unknowns for those who may want to reuse a site for a business or a public space.

“These grants will enable these Kentucky communities to assess the cost and steps needed to reuse contaminated properties, which will stimulate economic development, protect the environment and improve the lives of the people living in these communities,” said Cabinet Secretary Goodman.

“The Northern Kentucky Area Development District is excited to continue its partnership with EPA to revitalize brownfields throughout our region,” said Lisa Cooper, NKADD executive director. “The EPA Brownfields program has allowed the NKADD and our partners to reinvest in these underutilized sites and return them to viable businesses, residences, and recreational areas that also better the health and vitality of our environment. We are grateful for the opportunity to continue these efforts within our communities.”

Dominique DeLucia, who manages the NKADD program, agreed.

“With past EPA grant funding, the NKADD was able to assess over 50 brownfield properties,” she said. “The majority of those completed assessments lead the way for infill development with many of those sites now occupied by local business. We’re excited to keep that momentum and continue removing barriers for redevelopment.”

Since 2007, Kentucky communities, with help from the Kentucky Brownfield Redevelopment Program, have received over $16 million in EPA brownfield grants to help assess and remediate the estimated 8,000 brownfield properties in the Commonwealth. The program offers assessments, grant review services, technical assistance and brownfield grant writing education to those communities and organizations that wish to revitalize properties with an environmental past.

“The Kentucky Brownfield Program has worked hard throughout the years to help communities, large and small, access this vital funding. This funding has historically been used as a catalyst for job creation and community enhancement. I hope this will allow our communities to continue to dream of what can be even when things are tough,” said Amanda LeFevre, Director of the Division of Compliance Assistance.

For more information about these grant recipients, click here.

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