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Ronceverte wins EPA grant for potential redevelopment

Release Date: 04/07/2008
Contact Information: Roy Seneca (215) 814-5567

PHILADELPHIA (April 7 , 2008) -- Funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's brownfields program will help the city of Ronceverte, W. Va. assess abandoned industrial properties for potential redevelopment.

"Brownfields initiatives demonstrate how environmental protection and economic development work hand-in-hand. This funding will help the community assess, and if needed, clean up an abandoned eyesore, provide employment and turn problem properties into productive reuse," said Donald S. Welsh, administrator for EPA's mid-Atlantic region.

EPA announced today that Ronceverte will receive a $200,000 brownfields grant. The city is one of 209 communities nationwide receiving more than $74 million in brownfields-related funding. Brownfields are generally abandoned industrial properties where redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived contamination. EPA estimates there are more than 450,000 brownfields in the U.S. Cleaning up and reinvesting in these properties increases local tax bases, facilitates job growth, utilizes existing infrastructure, takes development pressures off of undeveloped, open land, and both improves and protects the environment.

Located in southeastern West Virginia, Ronceverte was selected for the grant because of abandoned industrial property in the rural community. Many industries including the world's largest softwood lumber mill were located here. Today, all but one of the mills have closed, and most of the city's industrial, electronics and chemical plants have closed. Brownfields assessment is expected to help the city determine the extent of environmental contamination at selected sites and catalyze investment in brownfields redevelopment.

Brownfields grants continue to serve as the foundation of EPA's brownfields program. These grants support revitalization efforts by funding environmental assessment, cleanup, and job training activities. Brownfields assessment grants provide funding for brownfield inventories, planning, environmental assessments, and community outreach.

More information on the brownfields program and brownfields grants is available at: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/index.html .