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Macon-Bibb holding forum on potential Brownfields | Environment

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Macon-Bibb holding forum on potential Brownfields

As part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Brownfields program, Macon-Bibb County will hold a public forum on Tuesday, January 26 at 2:00 p.m. in Commission Chambers at Government Center (700 Poplar Street).

“In order to continue the revitalization of our community and attract new development and businesses, we need to determine the sites that are ready or can be made ready,” says Macon-Bibb County Mayor Robert Reichert.

At this forum, representatives from Macon-Bibb and Resolute, the company hired to conduct the initial assessment, will discuss project goals and ask about potential Brownfield sites and the issues and sites most important to the community.  The public – especially municipal planners, engineers, lenders, developers, elected officials, and partner agencies – is encouraged to attend this forum to discuss the future redevelopment and revitalization of the urban core.

In June 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regional Administrator Heather McTeer Toney recognized Macon-Bibb County as the recipient of Brownfields grant investments totaling $400,000 ($200,000 assessment grant for hazardous substances and $200,000 assessment grant for petroleum). Of the 94 applications received for this funding from the EPA Southeast region, 22 were awarded, and Macon-Bibb County was the only grant recipient in Georgia.

The primary purpose of this project is to complete Phase I and II environmental assessments throughout the study target area in downtown Macon-Bibb County in order to gather the environmental data necessary to either a.) establish that given sites do not require remediation, or b.) determine the extent and degree of impact so that appropriate use-based corrective action plans may be developed. With this information the County and/or the development community may understand the environmental and financial liabilities associated with a given property. In keeping with the requirements of the EPA Brownfield Program, the County also acknowledges that a portion of the funding will be used for community outreach and cleanup planning.

By quantifying the environmental conditions in this area of Macon-Bibb County, the hope is to identify assemblages or tracts of land which can be certified as “shovel-ready” for industrial or mixed-use redevelopment. The remediation and redevelopment of brownfield sites in this area would allow for the development of new, quality manufacturing jobs within walking distance of downtown.

This project is part of Macon-Bibb County’s Economic and Community Development Focus Area in its Forward Together Strategic Plan. The local Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) team helped identify this program as a potential resource for Macon-Bibb County, and the Middle Georgia Regional Commission helped write the grant.

http://www.maconbibb.us/brownfieldspublicforum/ ‎">To read more about the Brownfields program, click here. 

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