FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 27, 2022
Environmental Protection Agency Awards Third Brownfields Assessment Grant to the City of Lynchburg
Lynchburg, VA – The Economic Development Authority of the City of Lynchburg (EDA) has again been selected to receive $500,000 in assessment grants from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to continue to assist businesses and property owners to identify, assess and begin redevelopment of brownfields in the City. Funding dedicated to the assessment of sites potentially impacted by hazardous substances and petroleum will be used to conduct Phase I and Phase II environmental site assessments, cleanup and redevelopment planning and community engagement activities. The EDA previously received a federal Brownfields grant in 2015 and again in 2018, totaling over $1 Million in support.
“We’re turning blight into might for communities across America,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “EPA’s Brownfields Program breathes new life into communities by helping to turn contaminated and potentially dangerous sites into productive economic contributors. Thanks to President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we are significantly ramping up our investments in communities, with the bulk of our funding going to places that have been overburdened and underserved for far too long.”
The City of Lynchburg brownfields program, administered by the Office of Economic Development & Tourism, works with property owners to identify, assess and prepare for potential cleanup of previously hazardous buildings or sites and as well as to give the community the opportunity to reap the benefits of redevelopment and restore economic vitality. Brownfields are idled, underutilized, or abandoned industrial or commercial properties where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination.
While the EDA will continue to address brownfields City-wide, particular emphasis for the current grant proposal will be placed on Lynchburg City Census Tract 19, an area generally referred to as Tyreeanna, which lies east of Downtown and the City’s 2015 target area, Mid-Town. Previous projects have included buildings on historic 5th Street, including the new Re5th Co-working space, along with the Lynchburg Foundry and urban farm Lynchburg Grows.
“This project will help us gain a better understanding of the real conditions of sites ready for redevelopment in the City,” said Marjette Upshur, director of Economic Development & Tourism. “Funds help to proactively begin beneficial re-use of these increasingly underutilized properties. With access to these funds, our Office assists property owners in redevelopment, and the City experiences economic growth through reinvestment, greater employment opportunities, reduced environmental threats and an enhanced quality of life.”
In total, the EPA selected 265 communities nationwide for brownfields environmental Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup grants. The 275 grants totaling $254 million will provide communities with funding to assess, clean up and redevelop underutilized properties while protecting public health and the environment.
“We have a proven track record that demonstrates our commitment to use EPA funds as they were intended,” said Ms. Upshur. “I believe our prior accomplishments reflect our dedication and have helped to strengthen our ability to receive more funding. This support from EPA will allow us to continue reinventing Lynchburg’s image by reutilizing abandoned and deteriorating properties in the heart of the City.”
City of Lynchburg Brownfields Program Quick Facts
- Lynchburg’s Brownfields Program has received multiple grants from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the state’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). These grants have totaled over $1 million in support for Lynchburg since our program began in 2014.
- Over 30 projects have been completed as a result of the brownfields grants, including brownfields inventorying, environmental site assessments, remediation planning efforts, redevelopment planning, community outreach and more.
- Lynchburg’s Brownfields Program helps attract new development and business to the city. The grant funds we secure are deployed and leveraged throughout the community to maximize investments from others.
- The city’s brownfields grant program has spurred public and private investment in our community, including the newly repurposed building at 403 Fifth Street. Once the site of a service center and an auto dealership, this property now boasts the headquarters for RIVERSEDGE USA, a furniture business, and a new co-working space.
- Our success is touted throughout Virginia. Both DEQ and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership highlight Lynchburg’s brownfields program as a model for other communities.
- This program has been so successful due to the support of the city’s administration, elected leaders, and the economic development team. Lynchburg also has a long-standing partnership with Draper Aden Associates, an engineering and environmental services firm that helps to implement the program.
To learn more about the Economic Development Authority Brownfields Program, please visit http://www.opportunitylynchburg.com/brownfields/.
About the Economic Development Authority of the City of Lynchburg
The Economic Development Authority is a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia and serves as the incentive arm of the City of Lynchburg. Lynchburg’s EDA takes an active role in economic development efforts, actively pursuing investment and development opportunities, and elevating the economic development profile of the City. Learn more at www.Opportunitylynchburg.com