For Immediate Release
Burke County Receives $300,000 EPA Grant
Funding Will Help with Assessment and Cleanup of Brownfields
BURKE COUNTY, N.C. (June 5, 2017) – Burke County received a $300,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to assist with the assessment and cleanup of brownfield sites. The funds will focus on the urban corridor including Morganton, Glen Alpine, Drexel, Valdese, Rutherford College and Hildebran.
“This was a collaborative effort to bring federal dollars into Burke County to start down the path to revive local industrial sites for future use and employment of our citizens,” said Bryan Steen, Burke County Manager. “The grant was a long process that took a lot of hours of staff time and coordination with other groups. I’m glad the application was successful and funded.”
The EPA’s Brownfields Program provides grants and technical assistance to communities to assess, clean up and reuse contaminated properties. The funds can be used to determine the extent of site contamination, remove environmental uncertainties and clean up contaminated properties where needed.
According to the EPA, studies have shown that residential property values near brownfields sites that are cleaned up increased between 5 and 15.2%. Burke Development, Inc. (BDI) and many of the County’s municipalities assisted with the grant application. They have identified several sites where the funds could be used, including former furniture plants.
“These funds will help us redevelop vacant and unused properties, which is a key piece of BDI’s plan of work,” said President and CEO Alan Wood. “This is another important step toward having more marketable industrial sites in our community, which is vital if we’re going to retain existing companies that want to grow or attract new businesses to our community.”
Cardno, a professional infrastructure and environmental services company, and Electricities, a membership organization including public power communities, also assisted BDI and Burke County with the grant application.
About Burke Development, Inc.
Burke Development, Inc. (BDI) is a nonprofit organization supported by private and public funding that is charged with accelerating economic growth in Burke County. BDI works with industry leaders, site selection consultants, government agencies and other entities to facilitate expansion strategies for existing businesses and recruit target industries to Burke County. For more information about BDI visit www.BurkeDevInc.com.