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Elizabethtown Board Mulling Brownfield Program

By Erin Smith

Town Of ElizabethtownThe Elizabethtown Town Council is studying the feasibility of taking part in a federal brownfield program. Town Manager, Eddie Madden, said the Council was given information on the program on Tuesday night during their meeting.

The Council is expected to hear a second presentation at their October meeting from a representative of W. R. Martin, the firm who will handle the brownfield program for the town, should the board decide to proceed. According to Madden, the board wanted more information regarding the program and any potential costs to the town.

If the board does approve the town joining the brownfield program, the town will contract with W. R. Martin and will have to pay 50 percent of the consultant fee which is $5,000, said Madden.

Madden said the brownfield program is a federal program administered through the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). A brownfield site or property could potentially include such locations as old industrial sites that have been closed, former gas stations that have been closed and have underground storage tanks, former auto body shops, and former dry cleaners, according to Madden.

If the board approves participating in the brownfield program, Madden said there will be an “area-wide study of properties with underground storage tanks or other environmental issues.” Once those properties have been identified, the landowners will have the opportunity to apply for assistance for any potential clean up or removal of such things as buried storage tanks, said Madden.

“There would be some title search work that would have to be done to establish the history of the use of the property,” said Madden.

Based on the research and history of the use of the property, a determination will be made regarding the eligibility for the landowner to take part in the brownfield program, stated Madden.

According to EPA’s website, the brownfield program can assist communities by encouraging the clean up of potential environmental hazards and encouraging economic development through the reuse of the property once it has been cleaned up.

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