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Covington, Newport Get $600K EPA Grant for Licking River Greenway

The Northern Kentucky Area Development District was awarded $600,000 in Brownfield grant money from the US Environmental Protection Agency and will partner with the Cities of Covington and Newport for work at the Licking River Greenway & Trails. 

Funding will be used to assess properties along the Licking River Greenway.

“This is an exciting award for NKADD and the Licking River Greenway Brownfield Coalition. These funds will allow the communities along the Licking River to make progress in redeveloping their brownfield sites and leverages the redevelopment and investment momentum in the river cities. We look forward to collaborating with Covington and Newport for this endeavor,” said NKADD Associate Director Meghan Sandfoss in a news release.
 
The Coalition was originally formed in 2009 by Vision 2015 and has previously received a $200,000 grant for assessment of brownfield petroleum sites. Under this initial grant, eight brownfield sites were assessed, two of which have been or are currently undergoing redevelopment. In addition, in 2013, NKADD was awarded an $850,000 grant to establish and operate a Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund, which provides low-interest loans to clean and redevelop properties that are known to be contaminated with hazardous or petroleum-based substances, including but not limited to lead paint, asbestos, gasoline and underground storage tanks.
 
One such project that has benefitted from NKADD’s previous rounds of funding is the redevelopment by the Center for Great Neighborhoods of 311 Orchard Street in Covington, which will provide parking for the Artist Row House Project when it is completed this summer. Phase I and Phase II assessments were conducted of the site, and the cleanup was financed in part with the Brownfield Revolving Loan Funds.

Brownfields are properties that are abandoned or underutilized due to contamination or the perception of contamination. They can include old factories, abandoned hospitals, old schools, former service stations and mine-scarred lands. Over the past eight years, with the help of the Kentucky Brownfield Redevelopment Program, Kentucky communities have received $8.3 million in EPA brownfield grants to help assess and remediate the estimated 8,000 brownfield properties in Kentucky. The Kentucky Brownfield Redevelopment Program offers assessment and grant review services, technical assistance and brownfield grant writing education to those communities and organizations that wish to revitalize properties with an environmental past. 

“These brownfield community-wide assessment grants will allow the communities to progress toward their goal of redeveloping contaminated properties and putting them back into productive reuse. This will stimulate economic development, protect the environment and improve the lives of those people living in these communities,” said Kentucky Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bruce Scott.

Kentucky received $1 million in this grant cycle, with $400,000 going to the City of Frankfort in the form of a community-wide assessment grant.

Photo: Licking River Greenway & Trails in Covington/RCN file