City plans meetings on brownfield sites

Columbus will use a $400,000 federal brownfield assessment grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to evaluate properties contaminated by hazardous substances and petroleum products.

Meetings will be at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Second Baptist Church, 1325 10th St., and 6 p.m. Thursday at the Roby Anderson Community Center, 421 McClure Road.

Brownfield sites are defined as being underutilized or abandoned properties in which future development is complicated by the perception or presence of environmental contaminants, said Robin Hilber, city community development programs coordinator. The money can only be used along the State Street corridor and Lincoln-Central Neighborhood, Hilber said. The funding has to be used by the end of September, she added.

However, Hilber said if there is an industrial or commercial property outside the two designated areas, the city may be able to appeal to the federal government to have it included, according to Hilber.

Both meetings will begin with a presentation describing the project. Participants will be asked to identify commercial and/or industrial properties that are potential Brownfield sites and sign consent forms on any properties they own to begin the process of investigating any contaminants that may be located on the properties, Hilber said.

For more information, call 812-376-2520 or email rhilber@columbus.in.gov.

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Matt Kent is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at 812-379-5712 or mkent@therepublic.com