Brownfield assessment grant meetings will be held July 15 in Aiken 1

The City of Aiken was $300,000 last year for brownfield assessment work, and meetings are scheduled for July 15  to provide information.

The City of Aiken will conduct two meetings about brownfield assessment grants next week to provide information to developers and the community, according to a press release issued Tuesday.

Both meetings will be held at the Lessie B. Price Aiken Senior and Youth Center on July 15.

The first will begin at 4 p.m. and will focus on investment opportunities and reinvestment in the community.

The second will start at 5 p.m. and will address the importance of community support for brownfield-related projects.

In April 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded the City of Aiken two grants worth a total of $300,000 for brownfield studies in downtown and on the Northside.

Two-thirds of the money is available to assess potentially hazardous substance contamination on former industrial or commercial sites. The other $100,000 is for petroleum studies at the same types of locations.

According to a story published in the Aiken Standard last year, the money will be specifically used for property not currently owned by the City of Aiken.

The targeted properties include areas adjacent to the Aiken County Farmers Market, parcels along Newberry Street and former car repair facilities.

The money also is available for developing a priority list, cleanup plans and community outreach programs.

Contamination at brownfield sites might include asbestos and lead.

According to the City of Aiken release, “proven success has been achieved in our community through our state’s brownfields program with the Lessie B. Price Aiken Senior and Youth Center project.”

The release also stated that the project involved the assessment of pesticide-impacted soils, underground storage tank-related soil and groundwater impacts, asbestos and lead paint “at the former school district maintenance facility adjacent to Eustis Park.”

The Senior and Youth Center is at 841 Edgefield Avenue N.W.

​Dede Biles is the Aiken County government, business and horse industry reporter for the Aiken Standard. Follow her on Twitter @DBethBiles.