City Awarded Two Brownfield Assessment Grants

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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City Awarded Two Brownfield Assessment Grants

Posted: 05/11/2009
The City of Knoxville has been awarded two Brownfield Assessment Grants that it will use to survey and assess brownfield sites in South Knoxville - particularly in the South Waterfront area.

The grants, from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Brownfields Program, total $400,000. They include a $200,000 grant for sites that might be contaminated with hazardous substances such as lead or arsenic, and a $200,000 grant for sites with possible petroleum contamination.

A brownfield is basically an abandoned or idle property that previously was the site of an industrial or commercial enterprise, which may contain some environmental contamination. Those properties can be redeveloped, though the process is usually much more complicated than one involving previously undeveloped land. 
"This grant is going to be a tremendous help to individual site redevelopment strategies in the South Waterfront, as being able to conduct targeted Phase I and II Assessments will remove some of the unknowns the City and private property owners face during planning," said Dave Hill, Sr. Director of the South Waterfront. "Knowing where contamination may occur equips designers to plan for avoidance and remediation strategies during construction." 
According to the EPA, grant funds will be used to inventory sites in South Knoxville, including both Phase I and Phase II environmental site assessments. Those properties range from a single lot to several acres in size.

A Phase I Assessment involves looking at the property's current status and a historical survey of its past uses to determine if there are potential environmental contaminates on the property and what they might be.

In some instances this assessment may rule out the presence of possible contamination, or it can help determine further survey and sampling of the property.

Phase II involves sampling to determine if there are contaminates in a property and becomes a planning tool for how the site can be cleaned up and possibly redeveloped.

The City's South Waterfront Development Office submitted an application for the grants last November. The information will be collected in cooperation with property owners and will be available to property owners and any other interested parties.