Laurel awarded $400,000 Brownfields Grant from EPA

Posted on: May 29, 2014

Laurel selected as one of 5 cities in Mississippi

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) selected the City of Laurel for two brownfields assessment grants, totaling $400,000. Petroleum and community-wide hazardous substances grant funds will be used to conduct environmental site assessments.  Grant funds also will be used to conduct area-wide and cleanup planning, monitor health risks to sensitive populations, and support community outreach activities.

What is a Brownfield?
Real property, the expansion, redevelopment or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. Some brownfield sites are large former industrial sites, but the majority of the estimated 500,000 – 1,000,000 brownfield sites in the United States are small vacant lots or gas stations. Brownfields involve real or perceived environmental contamination.

What can you do with a brownfield?

  • Economic reuse
  • Neighborhood improvements
  • Create parks and walking trails
  • Develop new housing
  • Expand transportation options
  • Joint public private investment ( i.e. Tupelo Fairgrounds)
  • New community health center
  • Expand adjacent business
  • Many other uses

What are the benefits of Brownfield Revitalization?

  • Increases local tax base
  • Promotes jobs
  • Utilizes existing infrastructure
  • Brings real estate back into productive use
  • Prevents sprawl
  • Supports cleaner air
  • Reduces environmental and health risks
  • Improves quality of life and preserves cultural values