Virginia DEQ receives $300K brownfields grant
The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality has received a $300,000 brownfield grant from the EPA. A total of $1.5 million was awarded to various recipients across the Commonwealth, including Northampton County, Pittsylvania County and the City of Staunton.
DEQ’s statewide grant award will primarily focus on promoting renewable energy projects on brownfields in historically economically disadvantaged communities in the Southside Regional Planning District Commission, which consists of Brunswick, Halifax and Mecklenburg counties.
Since 2000, the area has seen a 63 percent decrease in manufacturing jobs, creating numerous opportunities for brownfield revitalization projects. DEQ plans to use the grant money to help local communities build on efforts to revamp the economy while also rehabilitating neglected brownfield sites for beneficial re-use.
This is the second EPA brownfield grant DEQ has received. In 2018, DEQ was awarded $300,000 to identify sites within the Mount Rogers Planning District Commission for brownfields assessments and planning. To date, 90 percent of the funding has been spent for environmental assessments, which led to two major master planning efforts completed at the Blue Ridge Discovery Center and for the Mount Rogers School.
“DEQ is excited to accept the EPA brownfield grant to help support Brunswick, Halifax and Mecklenburg counties,” said DEQ Brownfields Program Coordinator Vincent Maiden. “This funding allows us to assist disadvantaged communities with efforts to bolster their economy and encourage investment in renewable energy in brownfields across the region.”
Working with state and federal partners, DEQ’s Brownfields Program actively assists communities with brownfield revitalization efforts through technical assistance, grant support, liability protection, reasonable cleanup objectives and tailored programming
About DEQ’s Brownfields Program
Brownfields are idled, underutilized, or abandoned industrial or commercial properties, where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination. Examples include, but are not limited to, factories, railyards, landfills, previously mined lands and dry cleaners.
For information on DEQ’s Brownfields Program, visit: https://www.deq.virginia.gov/land-waste/land-remediation/brownfields.