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Central, Anderson and Rock Hill receive $800,000 in EPA Grants

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The cities of Anderson and Rock Hill and town of Central are set to receive U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grants totaling $749,338 for the cleanup and development of contaminated sites.

“The grants will provide these communities in South Carolina with resources to clean up contaminated lands and return them to productive use,” Mary S. Walker, regional administrator of the EPA, said in a news release. “Overall, brownfields funding provides communities with an opportunity to convert contaminated sites into community assets that will attract jobs, encourage partnerships and achieve broader economic development outcomes.”

The EPA’s Brownfields Program recently announced 155 grants across the country that target underserved or disadvantaged communities within Opportunity Zones, or economically distressed communities where investments may be eligible for preferential tax treatment, according to the release. According to a recent study following 48 brownfields, or contaminated sites, across the country, between $29 million to $97 million in additional local tax revenue was generated within a year of the EPA’s $12.4 million site clean-up contribution.

The city of Anderson plans to conduct 12 environmental site assessments and develop cleanup plans of the city’s ABC Streets Community, including two abandoned mill sites and nine other vacant industrial and service sites with its $300,000 grant.

"The city of Anderson is pleased to be awarded an EPA brownfields grant. We appreciate the opportunity to work with our federal partners to leverage the power of our collective resources,” Anderson’s Mayor Terence Roberts said in the release. “This community-wide assessment, focused on the Anderson Mill site and adjacent neighborhoods, gives us the opportunity to propel this historic property into use to serve the future. Gaining a better understanding of environmental issues will assist in cleanup and redevelopment of these blighted properties, improve air and water quality, and make the community more attractive for businesses, jobs and housing options.”

The $149,338 awarded to Central will aid the town in its community outreach programs and the cleanup of volatile compounds, PCBs, metals and inorganic contaminants at the vacant Central Garage at 704 W. Main St., Central Laundromat at 703 W. Main St. and a public health building at 225 Broad St.

“I am excited about entering the next phase of this process of redeveloping these properties and we are extremely grateful that the Brownfield (Program) is assisting in the cost to abate the contaminates that exist on these properties,” Mayor Clyde “Mac” Martin said in the release. “Thank you so much for helping us and we look forward to the day when these properties are redeveloped.”

Rock Hill is already embedded in brownfield redevelopment as the city is transitioning a 5.4-acre mill site into an affordable housing development and redeveloping a 24-acre printing company site into a local sports and event center among other projects. The city will put its $300,000 EPA grant toward community outreach programs, 22 site assessments and four cleanup plans for sites including a fertilizer and cottonseed warehouses, car dealership and service station in the Knowledge Park neighborhood, an Opportunity Zone.

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