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Legal Alert: U.S. EPA Grants Funding for Brownfield Environmental Assessments and UST Investigations

April 1, 2011

To anyone planning soon to proceed with a brownfield environmental site assessment or an underground storage tank (UST) environmental site investigation in Hamilton County, Ohio this Legal Alert will be of interest. 

The Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority (Port Authority) recently received a $1,000,000 grant from U.S. EPA.  The purpose of this grant is to encourage redevelopment of environmentally contaminated properties.  Of this $1 million, $800,000 is earmarked for hazardous substance projects, and $200,000 is for petroleum projects.  Projects eligible for funding will be prioritized based on a plan for economic redevelopment and the removal of any known or discovered contamination.  The Port Authority is currently taking applications for funding under this grant.  The first application deadline is April 8, 2011, then June 1, 2011, and then every 60 days thereafter through July 2013, or until the grant is exhausted.  Under this framework, earlier applicants are more likely to be funded than later applicants.

Eligible projects will be screened for funding based on the project’s economic redevelopment impact.  Eligible activities under the grant are Phase I and II environmental site assessments under Ohio’s voluntary action program, Tier I and II environmental site investigations under the Bureau of Underground Storage Tank Regulations (BUSTR), and preparation of a remedial action plan.  Ineligible activities are demolition, remediation, and reimbursement of previous environmental assessments or cleanups.

Selection criteria will be based on: (i) inclusion of the project/site in the community’s master plan; (ii) a completed redevelopment plan for the site; (iii) project’s location and proximity to existing infrastructure; and (iv) project’s overall impact on the environment, if known.  Municipal corporations, non-profit organizations, developers, private businesses, and property owners are eligible for the grants.  Parties that caused or contributed to site contamination are ineligible for the grant, as are sites that are on the National Priority List, subject to court or enforcement orders to undertake environmental investigations or cleanups, or tax delinquencies. 

Ideal candidates for funding for environmental assessments are sites with former gas stations or those with historical industrial or commercial operations with potential environmental concerns.  Please click here to view the Port Authority’s grant program and the application. 

Should you have any questions or need assistance, please contact us.

KMK Legal Alerts are intended to bring attention to developments in the law and are not intended as legal advice for any particular client nor any particular situation.  Please consult with counsel of your choice regarding any specific questions you may have.

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