The Broome County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) and the City of Ithaca have each been awarded $300,000 brownfield grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The local grants are part of more than $3 million in grants EPA made to New York organizations. A brownfield is a property for which “the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.”
The EPA estimates the U.S. has more than 450,000 brownfields.
The Broome County IDA will use a $300,000 brownfields assessment grant targeting a former tannery and industrial waste dump, a prior shoe factory, and a former auto dealership in the Susquehanna Innovation Corridor, which includes the Village of Endicott, Village of Johnson City, and the Town of Union.
“The Agency is thrilled to receive the EPA’s Brownfield Communitywide Assessment Grant. We have a number of sites that serve only as a reminder of our post-industrial past. With the EPA’s program and utilization of these grant funds, we will reimagine our future,” Stacey Duncan, executive director of the Broome County Industrial Development Agency, said in an EPA news release.
The EPA has also selected the City of Ithaca for a $300,000 brownfields assessment grant targeting sites located near Ithaca’s waterfront, including Inlet Island, Immaculate Conception School, the New York State Department of Transportation maintenance site, Carpenter Business Park, and the Taber Street Automobile Service property.
“Ithaca is thrilled to secure federal money from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to help redevelop potentially contaminated properties,” Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick said. “This funding is critical, now more than ever, to help spur the local economy and create jobs.”
The Broome County IDA and the City of Ithaca will use their grant funds to identify sites for assessment, to assess sites for hazardous substances, to complete cleanup and reuse plans, and to carry out community outreach activities.
EPA’s brownfields program began in 1995 and has provided nearly $1.6 billion in brownfield grants to assess and clean up contaminated properties and return blighted properties to productive reuse, the agency said.
To date, brownfields investments have leveraged more than $31 billion in cleanup and redevelopment, the EPA contends.