EPA selects WV redevelopment grant recipients - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

EPA selects WV redevelopment grant recipients

Posted: Updated:
Photo courtesy Green Rivers. Mayor of Thomas, Matt Quattro, and other stakeholders look at the Thomas riverfront that will be assessed using the grant. Photo courtesy Green Rivers. Mayor of Thomas, Matt Quattro, and other stakeholders look at the Thomas riverfront that will be assessed using the grant.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • One person injured after ATV accident in Fayette County

    One person injured after ATV accident in Fayette County

    Saturday, August 30 2014 4:37 AM EDT2014-08-30 08:37:47 GMT
    Emergency crews were called to the scene of a ATV accident, just before 10 pm Friday.According to Fayette County 911 the ATV was struck by a vehicle along the 1900 block of Rt 60 Anstead area of Fayette County.One person was transported by helicopter, to a local hospital for treatment, The extent of those injuries or what caused the accident is not yet known at this time.The Fayette County Sheriff Department is investigating.
    Emergency crews were called to the scene of a ATV accident, just before 10 pm Friday.According to Fayette County 911 the ATV was struck by a vehicle along the 1900 block of Rt 60 Anstead area of Fayette County.One person was transported by helicopter, to a local hospital for treatment, The extent of those injuries or what caused the accident is not yet known at this time.The Fayette County Sheriff Department is investigating.
  • Intruder Kicks in Door at Apartment in Beckley

    Intruder Kicks in Door at Apartment in Beckley

    Friday, August 29 2014 11:27 PM EDT2014-08-30 03:27:05 GMT
    Beckley Police are searching for two suspects after a burglary at the Lewis Ritchie Apartments in Beckley around 10:00 Friday night (8/29). 
    Beckley Police are searching for two suspects after a burglary at the Lewis Ritchie Apartments in Beckley around 10:00 Friday night (8/29). 
  • 21st annual Beckley's Kids Classic Festival kicks off Saturday

    21st annual Beckley's Kids Classic Festival kicks off Saturday

    Friday, August 29 2014 6:22 PM EDT2014-08-29 22:22:20 GMT
    The 21st annual Beckley's Kids Classic Festival kicks off Saturday with the Autumn Fest at Lake Stephens.
    The 21st annual Beckley's Kids Classic Festival kicks off Saturday with the Autumn Fest at Lake Stephens.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has selected five West Virginia communities and organizations as 2014 Brownfields grant recipients.

The EPA handed out 264 grants to 171 communities, totaling $67 million in Brownfields funding for cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated properties, to boost local economies and leverage jobs while protecting public health and the environment.

“Not only are these funds protecting the environment and public health by helping communities clean up blighted toxic waste sites, there are new job growth opportunities for local economies to leverage through these investments,” Gina McCarthy, EPA Administrator, said in a news release. “With cities looking at how to combat the impacts of climate change, it’s more important than ever for communities to innovate new ways to retrofit formerly polluted sites into assets for the community.”

In West Virginia, the recipients included the cities of Thomas and Morgantown, the Economic Development Authorities in Wayne and Wyoming counties, and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.

Of those five, Thomas, Morgantown and the Wayne County Economic Development Authority all received $200,000 assessment grants for hazardous substances. The grant will allow them to conduct several environmental site assessments and prepare up to give cleanup plans and conduct community outreach activities.

The City of Thomas and New Historic Thomas organizations worked for about three years with the Northern WV Brownfield Assistance Center in Morgantown to prepare for the grant application.

“I think Thomas recently has really been starting to thrive and we have a lot of redevelopment plans in the works,” said Emily Wilson-Hauger, AmeriCorps member for the non-profit community group New Historic Thomas. “The EPA was really impressed by the plan that the city has put together; they’re impressed by such a small town getting such momentum behind a plan for redevelopment.”

Wilson-Hauger said Thomas is a tourist town, so even though it has a small population, it hosts a lot of visitors.

“These assessments and future cleanup and development is not only vital for people who live here ... but for our visitors as well,” she said.