If you know someone who owns property in Kent that may at one time have had an old service station on it, now is the time to tell them to contact the City and apply for funds to evaluate the extent of any petroleum based contamination. The City successfully lobbied for assessment funds from the Environmental Protection Agency and now we need to spend it, so let your neighbors know that these dollars are available. This is part of the City’s effort to jump-start redevelopment of properties that have had longstanding environmental issues.
A web site has been created that allows people to apply for use of the grant funds. It is located at:
The terms “pollution” and “hazardous substance” may strike fear in the hearts of property owners but property owners in Kent now have an opportunity to pursue redevelopment without being hindered by unresolved environmental concerns. That’s because the City of Kent has begun a first round of Brownfields Assessment Project, which will take an in-depth look at those sometimes-disturbing environmental topics.
This is not an environmental witch hunt. The idea is not to get people into the program to hunt them down — it’s a chance to help property owners understand what they’re dealing with on their property.
The Grant Funds gives property owners a chance to do the upfront legwork so that down the road they can get the property cleaned up and bring in new businesses and new jobs.
The term Brownfields refers to real estate whose expansion, redevelopment or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant, according to federal law. This first phase of the grant targets petroleum based pollutants, but City staff is already working on applying for the next round that would make a broader range of hazards eligible.
The Brownfields Assessment will facilitate long-term investment and improvement in areas around the City that have been hand-environmental problems. It is not unusual for these environmental problems to cause lenders to exercise caution when considering loaning money for redevelopment projects in former industrial areas — so this program is designed to help the community improve unused and underutilized properties.
The current round of funds will not be used to complete clean-up projects; however, the City plans to apply for further EPA grants if the assessment finds any areas with environmental concerns.
Participation on the part of property owners is strictly voluntary and no one will be forced into following federal regulatory requirements.
The idea is to find out information, evaluate it and move on.
If you have some sites in mind but don’t know the property owners, let me know and we’ll try to track them down and encourage them to apply for the funds.