According to a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) news release dated May 31, 2017, EPA has approved five grants for projects in four Kentucky communities to be used for brownfield assessments and cleanups. The grants total $900,000 and will be used to assist the communities develop vacant or underutilized Brownfield properties and to encourage community involvement.  Brownfields are properties that are contaminated or suspected of being contaminated that have been abandoned or underutilized. They include old industrial and commercial properties, petroleum and chemical storage facilities and former service stations.

Project descriptions and funding amounts for each these communities are discussed in Naturally Connected, A blog of the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet (posted June 1, 2017) and discussed below:

  • The City of Middlesboro – Discover Downtown Middlesboro has been awarded a $200,000 brownfields cleanup grant for the clean-up of property at 2022 Cumberland Avenue. This property formerly served as a convalescent home for the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks from 1911 to 1919. After 1919, the property was a hospital, offices, apartments and storefronts until it was vacated in 2012. The site is contaminated with elevated metals and other inorganic contaminants.
  • Estill County 21st Century Inc. – Estill County 21st Century Inc. was awarded a $200,000 grant to clean up the former Mack Theater property at 114 Main Street in Irvine, Kentucky. The site was historically operated as a livery, steam laundry, garage, and a movie theater that is contaminated with elevated concentrations of metals, solvent organic compounds and inorganic contaminants.
  • Kentucky River Foothills Development Council Inc. was issued a $200,000 grant to clean up the Parker Seal Rubber Plant at 103 Lewis Street in Berea, Kentucky. Between 1950 and 2001, the six-acre cleanup site produced rubber O-rings and has since been vacant. The contaminant of concern at the site is trichloroethene.
  • The City of Bowling Green was issued two communitywide assessment grants totaling $300,000 grant to conduct 12 Phase I and eight Phase II environmental site assessments, and prepare four cleanup plans.

Ken Kirk, is a Professional Geologist at Smith Management Group. You can contact Ken at