Gov. Ralph Northam recently announced that approximately $1.5 million in from the Virginia Brownfields Restoration and Economic Redevelopment Assistance Fund (VBAF) will be awarded to six localities, which include Charlotte and Pulaski Counties, the cities of Danville and Martinsville, and the towns of Altavista and Crewe.
The VBAF provides either grants or loans to local governments to restore and redevelop brownfield sites and address environmental problems or obstacles to their reuse in an effort to effectively attract new economic development prospects. Administered by the Virginia Resources Authority, the VBAF is a partnership between the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and the Department of Environmental Quality.
“Maintaining our status as the best place for business requires having a robust inventory of shovel-ready sites to attract prospective companies,” said Northam. “The Virginia Brownfields Restoration and Economic Redevelopment Assistance Fund is a vital resource for restoring brownfields sites, returning them to productive use, and ultimately generating new jobs and investment. We look forward to seeing the economic, environmental, and public health benefits that this funding will bring to these six localities.”
Brownfields are properties in which redevelopment or reuse is complicated by the presence of hazardous materials, pollution, or contaminants. The General Assembly allotted funds for Fiscal Year 2021 to be used for Site Remediation Grants in amounts of up to $500,000 per site. The Site Remediation Grants will cover efforts that include remediation of a contaminated property to remove hazardous substances and wastes, demolition and removal of existing structures, and other site work necessary to make a site or property usable for new economic development. In addition to Site Remediation Grants, Site Assessment Grants are available to communities for assistance with environmental and cultural resource site assessments and the development of remediation and reuse plans.
“The VBAF has proven to be a useful catalyst for the redevelopment of sites across the Commonwealth that would otherwise not be marketable,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “These grants will help six localities develop properties and put the right infrastructure in place to attract and retain businesses.”
“VBAF grants are a valuable tool to help resolve environmental concerns on underutilized Brownfields sites and revitalize communities that need assistance the most,” said Secretary of Natural and Historic Resources Matthew J. Strickler. “Removing these barriers allows for the transformation of once contaminated land into productive reuse.”
Since its inception in 2011, the VBAF has awarded over $12 million in grants to restore brownfield sites.
Virginia Brownfield Restoration and Economic Redevelopment Assistance Fund awarded Danville, $500,000; Martinsville, $399,000; Pulaski County, $260,600; Altavista, $181,100; Charlotte County, $83,450 and Crewe, $74,600.
For more information on the Virginia Brownfield Restoration and Economic Redevelopment Assistance Fund, visit vedp.org/brownfields.