Chattanooga gets half of EPA 2010 brownfield grants

Chattanooga gets half of EPA 2010 brownfield grants

April 22nd, 2010 by Pam Sohn in Green

Chattanooga is the recipient of three new brownfield grants totaling $650,000, including two totaling $400,000 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

One EPA grant will clean up the 54-acre old landfill site at 100 E. 36th St. in Alton Park. A second will clean up three nearby parcels totaling 9.5 acres that were used for unauthorized dumping before the city acquired them.

A third grant for $250,000 will pay for assessing cleanup needs on old petroleum sites.

Joe Guthrie, who is handling the cleanup grants for Chattanooga, said the city approved $80,000 in matching money in September.

Mr. Guthrie is the executive director of Brightbridge Inc., a nonprofit that has a contract to manage city-owned brownfields.

By the numbers

* $78 million: Grants nationwide to 40 states, four tribes and one U.S. territory

* 30: Communities in the Southeast received grants

* 2: Communities in Tennessee received 1.3 million in grants

* 3: Cleanup and assessment grants awarded to Chattanooga

Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

When combined with the cleanup of the Charles A. Bell school site -- paid for by an EPA grant given last year to Hamilton County -- cleaning the Alton Park landfill and the nearby unauthorized dump "adds to acreage available for open space, and it cleans up more of the brownfields" in the neighborhood, Mr. Guthrie said.

He said some of the three nearby parcels may be sold for commercial redevelopment., "and that will put them back on the tax rolls."

The grant to access old petroleum sites will be managed by the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Agency, EPA spokeswoman Kara Belle said.

Ms. Belle said the 36th Street landfill and the three nearby lots are contaminated with polyaromatic hydrocarbons, foundry sands and metals. Polyaromatic hydrocarbons, sometimes called PAHs, are chemicals formed during the incomplete burning of coal, oil, gas, wood and garbage.

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