The United States Environmental Protection Agency announced on Wednesday that Wilmington will receive a $400,000 federal grant to continue its efforts to clean and redevelop contaminated properties within the city.
Wilmington is among 171 communities nationwide and only one of eight in North Carolina to receive an assessment grant.
The city also received a $400,000 in grants in 2011 and used those funds to inventory more than 60 potential brownfields sites and to conduct environmental assessments. The money from the 2011 grant program was winding down and with the EPA's renewed funding, the program can continue.
According to Phil Prete, who oversees the brownsfields effort for the city, developers will often shy away from brownfield properties because of the uncertainty of potential clean up and liability costs. The funds from these grants help identify what needs to be cleaned up to comply with federal environmental regulations, which removes much of the uncertainy for developers.
"Redevelopment of brownfield properties will reduce environmental hazards while putting sites that are abandoned or underutilized to productive use, thereby increasing the tax base, stimulating revitalization and providing jobs," said Prete.
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