TDEC Helps Chattanooga Receive $3.5 Million Federal Remediation Grant

Tuesday, May 28, 2024 | 08:21am

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) helped the City of Chattanooga receive a $3.5 million supplemental Revolving Loan Fund grant to assist with the cleanup of brownfields throughout the city.

The funds are among three federal grants for brownfield remediation announced for communities in Tennessee by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The grants include $632,807 for the City of Dunlap and $1.5 million for the South Central Tennessee Development District and its partners, bringing the total in the state to $5,632,807.  

TDEC worked with the grantees in support of their applications for the federal funds and will continue to assist them, providing technical oversight throughout the life of the grants.

“We congratulate these communities on their success in obtaining the grants, and we are pleased to have provided assistance in the process,” said Greg Young, deputy commissioner for Environment at TDEC. “Brownfields can not only be cleaned up but can become community assets, and these federal grants will go a long way in making that happen in Tennessee.”

The EPA announced over $300 million in grants from the Investing in America initiative to help states, tribal nations, local governments, and non-profit organizations clean up polluted brownfield sites throughout the country.

In addition to $5,8 million in EPA funds already awarded to Chattanooga, the city’s Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) has been selected to receive the $3.5 million through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) because it has a high-performing RLF program with significantly depleted funds.

The RLF program has successfully made loans or subgrants leading to nine cleanup projects that are either completed or in progress. Potential projects highlighted for use of the BIL funding include 2701 Chestnut St., the site of a former foundry, and multiple sites on South Broad Street. The BIL funding will extend the capacity of the program to provide funds for more cleanups in the most underserved areas in the city. In revolving loan funds, proceeds from loan repayments flow back into the fund for future loans. 

The grant for the City of Dunlap is to remediate the former Victory Automotive property. The grant for the South Central Tennessee Development District and its partners is to assist with the assessment of brownfields in 13 counties – Bedford, Coffee, Franklin, Giles, Hickman, Lawrence, Lewis, Lincoln, Marshall, Maury, Moore, Perry, and Wayne. 

A brownfield is a property that is vacant or underutilized due to contamination. Remediation minimizes threats to public health, safety, and the environment. Brownfield sites vary in size, location, age, and past use.