The City of Greenville has been awarded $400,000 in grant money from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to conduct City-wide Brownfields site assessments. As defined by the EPA, a Brownfield is "real property, the expansion, redevelopment or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant."
The City recognizes that Brownfields redevelopment, along with sustainable development, is essential to the economic vitality of Greenville. As such, the grant funding will be used not only to conduct Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessments, but also to create a comprehensive site cleanup and redevelopment plan for identified problem areas. Funds from the grant may be utilized City-wide, and are not limited to specific neighborhoods or areas.
What is an Environmental Assessment (ESA)?
Prior to committing their resources, potential buyers, investors, and financial institutions involved in a real estate and development transactions, will need assurance that any environmental issues related to a particular property have been thoroughly researched and properly addressed. A Phase I ESA is the first step in the environmental due diligence process. The ESA is a detailed report that describes a property’s previous uses, ownership and the area’s historical and current development which may have had an environmental impact on the property. Depending on the outcome on the initial Phase I investigation, a Phase II ESA to conduct sampling of soil and ground water may be ordered to find out if a property has been impacted by the concerns identified in the Phase I report. Costs for these assessments can range from $3,000 to over $50,000 depending on the site.
Will Participation in the Program Result in Enforcement Action by the EPA?
Participation in the City of Greenville Brownfields Program is completely voluntary. While the results of the ESAs funded by this grant are public record, the EPA has provided this funding to help jumpstart redevelopment, not increase the burden on property owners. After any environmental issues have been identified, property owners can determine a proper remedy to address them and move beyond concerns that may have prevented the sale or redevelopment of a particular property. Depending on the results of the initial environmental assessments, a property owner may decide to enter the State Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP) which offers a streamlined process for obtaining environmental closure from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).
How Can I Quality for an ESA Funded under this Program?
If you are interested in receiving a free environmental assessment funded by this grant program, please complete the application and access agreement (link below) and return it via email, mail, or in person to:
City of Greenville Brownfields Program
2315 Johnson Street
Greenville, TX 75401