Wednesday, May 31, 2017
Monticello, NY – Joining 171 other communities across the country, Sullivan County today confirmed it will receive $200,000 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for brownfield site revitalization in Monticello, Liberty and South Fallsburg.
“The Sullivan County Division of Planning and Environmental Management is elated to have qualified for the maximum allowed amount,” affirmed Sullivan County Planning Commissioner Freda Eisenberg. “This opens the door to building a brownfields program here.”
Eisenberg said the funds will be used to assess the level of environmental contamination at sites in and around these population centers, including the Route 17 and 17B corridors. While a list of potential sites is still being assembled, the Planning Division will seek an outside firm to conduct environmental testing with to-be-identified willing property owners.
“The awarding of the maximum amount of funding under the EPA’s brownfield program is testament to the diligent work our Planning staff do every day to improve the lives of Sullivan County’s taxpayers,” said County Manager Josh Potosek. “These funds will make a real difference in our most heavily travelled communities and help us restore pride and value in an array of properties.”
Should the testing reveal contamination, the County will apply for a second round of EPA funding to conduct cleanup and remediation.
“While we have yet to identify the specific properties to be assessed,” remarked Legislature Chairman Luis Alvarez, “I eagerly expect this to be just the first phase of an effort that will result in beautiful, attractive and far more marketable properties along our main arteries for transportation and commerce.”
In addition to improving the County’s population centers, the use of the funds requires preference be given to project proposals from contractors who hire community residents and/or environmental technicians graduating from the Fortune Society Inc.’s Brownfield Job Training Program, which supports individuals in successful re-entry from prison and promotes alternatives to incarceration.
“EPA is committed to working with communities to redevelop brownfield sites which have plagued their neighborhoods,” EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt explained. “EPA’s Assessment and Cleanup grants target communities that are economically disadvantaged and include places where environmental cleanup and new jobs are most needed.”
More info on the brownfields program is available at https://www.epa.gov/brownfields-list-fy17-grants-selected-funding
For more information about this press release, please reach out to Sullivan County Director of Communications Dan Hust at (845) 807-0456.