The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded Chattanooga $4.9 million to remediate brownfields, an effort Mayor Tim Kelly hopes will help the city turn contaminated sites into economic opportunities.
“It’s expensive and time-consuming to correct the mistakes that led to parts of our city becoming virtually unusable, but thanks to the support from the EPA, I’m confident we’ll be able to turn more of these eyesores into healthy properties that generate economic growth for our community,” says Kelly in a news release from his office.
The funds consist of two $500,000 grants – one for analysis, one for cleanup – and $3.9 million for Chattanooga’s Revolving Loan Fund, which offers low interest loans for cleanup of brownfield sites.
The funding will help revitalize polluted properties throughout the city – many of which were once industrial sites that contributed to Chattanooga’s 1960s-era reputation as the “Dirtiest City in America” – and return them to productive use to create homes and jobs, adds Kelly.
The $500,000 assessment grant will be used to develop an inventory of brownfield sites and conduct environmental valuations that will help determine remediation needs based on planned redevelopment.
Priority sites for the funding include the R.L. Stowe Mercerizing Mill, the U.S. Pipe and Wheland Foundry site and a former 9.7-acre quarry.
The $500,000 cleanup grant will be used to clean up the abandoned rail corridor – the site of a future greenway – at 3225 Broad Street and to support community engagement activities.
Source: Office of the mayor