The 2014 EPA Brownfields Grant application guidelines have arrived! The EPA brownfields assessment, cleanup, and revolving loan fund grants were made available on November 22, 2013. Successful applicant can use the grants to empower communities to prevent, inventory, assess, cleanup, and reuse brownfields properties. To view guidelines and download applications, please visit the EPA’s Grants and Funding website.
The West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center (WVBAC) at Marshall University, a program within Marshall University’s Center for Environmental, Geotechnical and Applied Sciences, has released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for Renewable Energy Applications on Surface-Mined Lands. The objective of this project is to increase renewable energy projects on surface-mined land properties. Renewable energy project examples include wind generation of electricity, solar photovoltaic and concentrated solar power applications, and biomass energy production. Eligible projects must involve utilization of surface-mined property in West Virginia. Funding for this initiative is being provided by the Appalachian Regional Commission and the West Virginia Division of Energy.
Funding requests of up to $40,000 will be considered for funding. Average proposal amounts are expected to be in the $25,000 to $35,000 range. Eligible applicants include, but are not limited to, units of local government, non-profit organizations, quasi-governmental entities, West Virginia school systems and West Virginia state agencies. Complete eligibility guidelines, match funding requirements, and application instructions are included in the RFP.
Applications are due on or before January 15th, 2014.
MARTINSBURG – The Matthews Foundry Team got some good news at their meeting Friday.
“There is no recognizable environmental concern,” Joe Freeman of Boggs Environmental Consultants in Frederick, Md., said. “The perceptions about the foundry’s contamination are misplaced.”
Because of its many years of heavy industrial use, there were concerns that the soil in and around the foundry was contaminated with toxic materials.
Main Street Martinsburg won a $5,750 West Virginia Redevelopment Collaborative grant earlier this year to devise a marketing plan for the property, which includes environmental, structural and historical assessments of the site.
The West Virginia Redevelopment Collaborative is a program of the Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center.
In addition to Main Street Martinsburg and WVRC, the Matthews Foundry Team includes Martinsburg city officials, Main Street West Virginia representatives and others with expertise in redeveloping former industrial sites.
Located at the southern end of the Queen Street underpass, the foundry is owned by Vincent Groh of Hagerstown. The marketing plan could be used by Groh to attract a developer or investors.
The original 140-foot by 45-foot, two-story limestone structure was built around 1851 by Samuel Fitz of Hanover, Pa., according to its nomination for the National Register of Historical Places.
Fitz specialized in manufacturing waterwheels, and the first all-metal waterwheel in America might have been manufactured at the Martinsburg foundry, according to one historical account of Fitz’s company.
The business has been known as the Fitz Foundry, the Tuscarora Iron Works and most recently as the T.E. Matthews Foundry. It operated as a machine shop until about 1994.
The environmental study is important to show prospective developers that the site does not need a great deal of remediation to make it safe for public use.
Freeman visited the site in September to get samples to test for contaminants. He tested soil samples around the foundry and found no traces of contaminants.
“The soil is clean outside,” he said.
Tests of the dirt floor inside the building turned up residual levels of contaminants, Freeman said.
“It doesn’t represent an environmental concern,” he said, adding that if the property is redeveloped, the floors inside the foundry would be capped with concrete sealing the slightly contaminated soil.
Also because of its age, there were concerns the building might have been built with toxic materials that were legal then, but would be outlawed today.
Freeman said he found trace amounts of lead paint on the exterior doors to the foundry and trace amounts of asbestos in plaster covering the stone walls on the second floor of the historic structure, but neither pose a hazardous threat and both could be treated easily.
Freeman’s report is good for one year, he said.
– Staff writer John McVey can be reached at 304-263-3381, ext. 128.
By John McVey (firstname.lastname@example.org) , journal-news.net
BAD Buildings Program Webinar Schedule
The NBAC is hosting a series of webinars to discuss its new BAD Buildings Program, review the current Request for Proposals, and talk about how to submit a strong application to the program. Any community organization or local government interested in the program is encouraged to participate.
Tuesday, October 29th, 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Wednesday, November 6th, 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Monday, November 11th, 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Email Luke.Elser@mail.wvu.edu with your preferred webinar day/time to register!
Visit our BAD Buildings Program website for more details and to download your application.