The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded three Indiana communities hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants to assess polluted properties and draw up plans for their cleanup.
Bloomington, Union City and the town of Clarksville were selected to receive Multipurpose, Assessment and Cleanup grants through the EPA’s Region 5 Land Revitalization Program.
“EPA’s Brownfield’s Program is bringing critical funding to help empower Bloomington, Union City and Clarksville to address the environmental, public health and social issues associated with contaminated land,” said EPA Deputy Administrator Janet McCabe, former director of Indiana University’s Environmental Resilience Institute. “These cities are taking proactive steps to improve the environment and economic opportunity in their communities, and the agency’s grants are helping the Biden Administration deliver on its commitment to lifting up and protecting all communities — especially environmental justice and underserved communities — across America.”
BLOOMINGTON - $300,000
Bloomington was awarded $300,000 to update the city’s brownfield inventory, conduct up to 22 environmental site assessments and develop up to 10 cleanup plans and support community outreach activities.
According to the EPA, Bloomington’s assessments will focus on the College Avenue/Walnut Street corridor. Priority sites for the grants include the former site of the IU Health Bloomington Hospital and several other historically contaminated sites.
"The City of Bloomington is excited to receive a new EPA Brownfields Grant to support the revitalization of our downtown," said Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton. "Given our city's industrial history, we have identified over 25 vacant or underutilized commercial and/or industrial brownfields properties located in low-income residential and/or mixed-use areas as target properties for this grant."
UNION CITY - $300,000
Union City was awarded $300,000 to conduct up to 20 environmental site assessments and prepare up to 10 cleanup plans.
The EPA said Union City’s assessments will focus on the city’s Pearl and Oak Street corridor. Priority sites include a former Union City Body Co. plant, a former auto parts manufacturer and the former site of the Union City police station.
“We are very pleased and thankful for the grant funding from the EPA, as it will help address areas in our downtown corridor that will ultimately facilitate new construction and therefore economic development and growth,” said Union City Mayor Chad Spence.
CLARKSVILLE - $800,000
Clarksville was awarded $800,000 to clean up two sites, create four cleanup plans and conduct 10 environmental site assessments.
The two sites that will be cleaned up are the Graveyard Auto site and the Cab-Ex waste disposal facility.
Graveyard Auto was a former auto salvage yard that operated from 1983 until 2016. The site is contaminated with metals co-mingled with petroleum from abandoned oil drums.
Cab-Ex was a former unregulated waste disposal facility that is contaminated with heavy metals, volatile organic compounds and methane.
According to the EPA, Clarksville will also target a former transfer station that recycled metals and is within the 100-year floodplain.
“The Town of Clarksville, Indiana is ecstatic to receive this Multipurpose grant from the EPA. We intend to use the funds to help clean up our riverfront on the mighty Ohio River for the enjoyment of all Clarksville, Southern Indiana and Louisville, Kentucky residents,” said Clarksville Town Council President Ryan Ramsey.
The three communities were part of 151 communities nationwide receiving $66.5 million in grants.