Governor McAuliffe Announces $700,000 in Remediation Grants to Support Restoration of Brownfield Sites
~Three Virginia communities to receive funding from Virginia Brownfields Restoration and Economic Redevelopment Assistance Fund~
RICHMOND - Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced approximately $700,000 in Virginia Brownfields Restoration and Economic Redevelopment Assistance Fund (VBAF) Site Remediation Grants for three localities in the Commonwealth. The City of Petersburg was awarded $350,000; the Town of Pulaski was awarded $240,000; and the Town of Herndon was awarded $109,000. The VBAF was established to provide either grants or loans to local governments to promote the restoration and redevelopment of brownfield sites and to address environmental problems or obstacles to reuse in an effort to effectively market for new economic development prospects.
“Programs like the Virginia Brownfields Assistance Fund are critical to the success of economic development in the Commonwealth,” said Governor McAuliffe. “Too often our brownfields sites are forgotten, and this program is an important tool that promotes the redevelopment of these properties into productive use, increasing our inventory of available sites. We congratulate the Town of Herndon, the City of Petersburg and the Town of Pulaski on their efforts to help revitalize these valuable sites and promote marketability for economic development projects.”
The General Assembly allotted additional funds for Fiscal Year 2017 to be used for Site Remediation Grants in amounts up to $500,000. The Site Remediation Grant will cover efforts that include remediation of a contaminated property to remove hazardous substances and wastes and the demolition and removal of existing structures, or other site work necessary to make a site or property usable for new economic development. In addition to Site Remediation Grants, Site Assessment Grants are available to communities for assistance with environmental and cultural resource site assessments and development of remediation and reuse plans.
“The VBAF is a critical partnership program between the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and the Department of Environmental Quality, leveraging more than $2.3 million in grants for nearly 40 communities throughout the Commonwealth since 2011,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore. “Virginia’s brownfield sites, from underutilized properties to abandoned factories, represent so much value to the Commonwealth, and this grant provides the opportunity to utilize these sites in a way that will greatly benefit our localities and regions.”
“The recently announced grants will address longstanding environmental hazards and transform eyesores into opportunities,” said Secretary of Natural Resources Molly Ward. “Returning these contaminated properties to usable condition is good for our ecosystems and economy.”
"These are exactly the type of projects we envisioned as we focused on the Brownfield issue last year,” said Senator Frank Ruff. “It is far better to bring these sites back as assets of communities rather than eyesores. It will, as well, help these communities improve their tax base."
The VBAF program is targeted toward projects or phases of work associated with the restoration and redevelopment of brownfield sites that by their completion will generate additional private investment and job creation in the immediate future. Grants were awarded based upon meeting at least one of the following priorities: use or reuse of existing infrastructure; limited ability to draw on other funding sources; potential for redevelopment and reuse of the site; economic benefits; and environmental benefits.
To view a map of all Virginia Brownfields Restoration and Economic Redevelopment Assistance Fund recipients, click here.