The Clinton County Port Authority (CCPA) and the Clinton County Regional Planning Commission (CCRPC) applied for, and received, a $200,000 Brownfields Assessment Grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Partnering with SME, a consulting-engineering firm with experience in Brownfields Assessments, five properties throughout the county have been assessed.
Project Geologist Joel Hecker of SME addressed the Clinton County Port Authority Board of Directors earlier this year and shared an update on the status of the use of the grant funds. He also provided a summary of the progress on the properties currently in the assessment process.
“We are involved in active assessments at five properties in Clinton County,” said Hecker. “The assessments generally start with a Phase I, which is a lot of research, to determine the historical uses of the property.”
U.S. EPA Brownfield Assessment Grant funding is made available to inventory, characterize, assess and conduct clean-up planning, as well as community involvement, related to Brownfield sites. Assessment could include Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessments, Hazardous Materials Assessments, and preparation of cleanup and redevelopment plans.
“This grant program has provided the funds needed to better understand environmental issues related to several properties throughout the county, which helps us better gauge the cost of clean-up,” said CCRPC Executive Director Taylor Stuckert.
“One property in downtown Wilmington has long been an eyesore and safety hazard to the public; through this program, the land bank is able to more precisely plan and budget for its removal,” he said.
Properties throughout Clinton County are eligible for the Assessment Grant funds. A site in Clarksville is the most recent property to be added to the Assessment List.
Sites also have been assessed at the Wilmington Air Park, at several additional locations within the city of Wilmington and a second site in Clarksville. Information on entering the program has been shared at both CCRPC meetings as well as CCPA meetings, and with other groups in the community.
“We believe working with these blighted properties, and enabling them to become redevelopment sites, is consistent with the Port Authority Board’s vision to extend our reach throughout the community,” said Dan Evers, Executive Director of the Clinton County Port Authority. “We’re pleased to partner with the CCRPC to expand both public and private redevelopment options, county-wide, and add value to our community.”
“The US EPA offers other grants specifically for site cleanup,” said Hecker. “Awarding of those grants is based on the planning phase that is covered in the grant currently in use in Clinton County.” It is possible, that having completed the assessment, and created a plan for the cleanup, additional funds could be available to county properties through a clean-up Grant.
“This is a great opportunity for interested property owners and the communities that would benefit from the property being cleaned up. We have done outreach throughout the county and hosted several public information meetings, but still feel there are some additional opportunities out there,” said Stuckert.
About the Port
The Clinton County Port Authority is a special purpose government formed to operate transportation infrastructure and lead economic development efforts. It owns and operates the Wilmington Air Park, an integrated aviation and logistics business park located on 1,900 acres with nearly three million square feet of industrial, office and hangar space.
Along with owning and operating the Wilmington Air Park, the Port Authority works to facilitate economic development county-wide, through efforts including a Revolving Loan Fund and administering a federally-funded Brownfields Assessment Grant project.
Learn more at www.wilmingtonairpark.com.
About the CCRPC
The Clinton County Regional Planning Commission strives to be an agent of regional cooperation and a guardian for the future and efficient utilization of resources. Serving Clinton County for over 45 years, the Commission is the most diverse in the County and charged with the “physical, social and economic development” of the Clinton County area.
Learn more at www.clintoncountyrpc.org.