The Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, KS (UG) has secured a Brownfields Assessment Grant from the EPA To address the issue of brownfields in the community and leverage resources.
The ONE-KC Brownfields Coalition is a partnership of Kansas City, MO; the UG, and Mid-America Regional Council (MARC). This bi-state grant will continue for 3 years beginning in 2013, and fund projects through an equal budget distribution of grant funds and assistance for both states. The award will help both cities identify and assess environmental contamination on idle and blighted brownfield properties that could be cleaned up to create community gardens, green space and new business ventures. MARC will assist in tying the projects into its regional initiatives in workforce development, economic growth and sustainability.
Strategic focus areas for grant projects seeking assessment funding:
- Urban Agriculture
- Public Infrastructure Improvements
- Workforce Development
- Access to High Speed Internet
Examples include but are not limited to the following: Environmental assessments for existing or new community gardens, urban farms, orchards and aqua-culture facilities. Industrial, commercial and residential development projects that will make public infrastructure investments are another example of targeted uses of the brownfields grant funds. Firms that perform grant funded assessment work and analysis will be encouraged to hire local residents, newly certified in environmental science disciplines. Finally, projects that will increase community access to high speed internet has been established a strategic use of grant funds.
Project Boundaries: The grant project generally targets the bi-state downtown and industrial corridor. The project area for Kansas City, KS is bounded by 18th St to the west, 43rd Avenue to the South and the Missouri River serves as the east and northern boundaries.
Grant funds will be used for the following activities:
One of the first steps in the project is to identify and prioritize brownfield sites in Wyandotte County, Kansas with petroleum and hazardous substances contamination. The UG will work with a target area planning team and invites the Wyandotte County community to provide input and site nomination suggestions to create an extensive inventory of hazardous and petroleum substance sites. Identified properties will be prioritized during a series of community and stakeholder meetings.
The UG will conduct Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessments at high-priority brownfield properties.