What is a Brownfield?
A brownfield is a real property whose expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. Examples include former industrial sites, gas stations, dry cleaning establishments, and manufacturing plants. Brownfields impact our environment, health and economics but also impede our social growth as an inter-woven community.
The EPA Brownfield Program
Since its inception in 1995, the EPA Brownfields Program has grown into a proven, results-oriented program that has changed the way contaminated property is perceived, addressed, and managed. The program is designed to empower states, communities, and other stakeholders in economic redevelopment to work together in a timely manner to prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse brownfields.
Brownfield grants serve as the foundation of the EPA Brownfields Program. These grants support revitalization efforts by funding environmental assessment, cleanup, and job training activities. One such grant is the EPA Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) Grant.
RLF Grants provide funding for a grant recipient to capitalize a revolving loan fund and to provide sub-awards to carry out cleanup activities at brownfield sites. Through these grants, EPA strengthens the marketplace and encourages stakeholders to leverage resources to clean up and redevelop brownfields. When loans are repaid, the loan amount is returned into the fund and re-lent to other borrowers, providing an ongoing source of capital within a community.
Decide DeKalb Revolving Loan Fund Program BF-95498312
DeKalb County received a US EPA Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund Grant that will be used to assess industrial contamination throughout the county to enhance human health, the environment, and the economic vitality of this area. The County through an Intergovernmental Agreement transferred programmatic and administration responsibilities for implementation of the RLF grant to Decide DeKalb Development Authority.
Brownfield redevelopment offers significant advantages to the communities within the project area and DeKalb County as a whole. From an environmental and health perspective, Brownfield redevelopment improves air and water quality and helps eliminate the negative impacts of sprawl. On the economic and community development side, Brownfield redevelopment allows neighborhoods to become revitalized, new investments to be leveraged, additional employment opportunities and a sense of community to be restored. Fiscally, Brownfield redevelopment generates additional revenue from areas that were once considered blighted.
Community Involvement in RLF Cleanup Activities
Community involvement is an essential component to the Decide DeKalb Brownfield RLF Program. All loans and sub-grant awards require a site-specific community relations plan that includes providing reasonable notice and the opportunity for public involvement and comment on the proposed cleanup options. Community involvement activities must be initiated prior to the cleanup of a site.
The following components will be utilized to ensure community stakeholders have the opportunity to be involved in the success of this program:
- Update on program status at the monthly Decide DeKalb meetings (open to the public).
- The community will have access to documentation through the Project Spokesperson. Contact information will be posted on the Decide DeKalb website.
- A link on the Decide DeKalb website has been developed for additional information about the Brownfields Program activities as well as meetings and announcements.
Additionally, Decide DeKalb along with its sub-loan awardees and sub-grantees may host community meetings as necessary to update the public on specific projects, such as the Covington site.
Covington Highway Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund Application
SL Covington Place, LLC (“Covington”) submitted a RLF loan application to Decide DeKalb for remediation of a former dry cleaning site located at their site in anticipation of the redevelopment. Loan funds will be used to abate hazardous materials in the existing buildings as part of the site’s redevelopment. Below are details about the loan applicant, the site and proposed redevelopment.
Project Location: The site located at Covington Place Shopping Center (Unit C) 4086 Covington Highway, Decatur, GA 30032, near the Mountain Brooke neighborhood.
Proposed Project: Environmental cleanup of a portion of the center that was impacted by a former tenant who operated a dry cleaning plant on the premises.
Community Involvement Activities
Public Notices and Meetings - Community Meetings: Information about the Covington Place project was presented at a community meeting on May 29, 2019 at 6:30pm in the Covington Place Shopping Center. At this meeting, the public was given a chance to learn and ask questions about the loan process as well as the cleanup and redevelopment schedule. Representatives from Cardno, Decide DeKalb’s environmental consultant, and from SL Covington Place, LLC discussed the Brownfield redevelopment of the site.
Decide DeKalb Board Meetings: These meetings are open to public and are advertised on this website.
Website: Information about this project will be posted on this website at https://www.decidedekalb.com/what-we-do/real-estate-development.stml and on the Decide DeKalb's Facebook and Twitter.
Information Repository: Decide DeKalb has established a repository for its EPA Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund, which includes information for the SL Covington Place, LLC RLF project. The repository includes documents demonstrating the basis for the cleanup and its progress such as ESA reports; the GA EPD approved PPCAP; US EPA documents including a Work Plan, Analysis of Brownfield Cleanup Alternatives (ABCA), and Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP). The information repository will be available for review Monday through Friday, excluding holidays from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM at the Decide DeKalb offices at Two Decatur Town Center, 125 Clairemont Avenue, Suite 150, Decatur, GA 30030.
Points of Contact: To obtain information via email, to schedule an appointment to review documents or to submit comments or questions about this project, please submit the online form at this site.