St. Bernard Groups Offer Funds for Brownfield Assessments

CHALMETTE, LA. — The Regional Planning Commission, in partnership with St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation, was recently awarded a $500,000 Brownfield Assessment Grant from the EPA to support economic development in St. Bernard Parish. These funds can be used to pay for Phase I and Phase II environmental assessments, technical assistance to help facilitate the redevelopment of brownfield sites, and, if necessary, environmental cleanup plans. All work will be performed by qualified environmental professionals under contract with the RPC. Private owners and companies, nonprofit organizations, and public entities are all eligible applicants.

“St. Bernard has always had a rich industrial and cultural identity,” said SBEDF CEO Meaghan McCormack. “But as we look to the future, preserving our environment and redeveloping our brownfield sites into community assets is crucial to sustaining our bucolic parish.”

Brownfield sites are defined by the US Environmental Protection Agency as “real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.” Addressing potential environmental issues, especially financial and regulatory hurdles, is often intimidating, creating a barrier to the redevelopment or expanded use of brownfield sites. RPC’s Brownfield Redevelopment Program helps convert these properties from community liabilities to community assets by providing assistance and technical guidance to navigate the environmental process from investigation to cleanup.

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Characteristics of a site that is a good candidate for RPC Brownfield assistance include:

  • The site was once developed but is now either underutilized or abandoned.
  • The site has either real or perceived environmental contamination preventing redevelopment.
  • The site is not listed on the National Priorities List (i.e., superfund sites are not eligible).
  • The planned redevelopment is income-producing property or for a community benefit.
  • Ideal candidates have a redevelopment plan and at least partial funding for the redevelopment in place.

Each brownfield project is unique, and ideal projects will aim to redevelop underutilized property into productive assets for the community. To apply for a free Phase I or Phase II assessment, or to learn more about the brownfield program, contact Meaghan McCormack at or Adam Tatar, RPC Brownfield Program Coordinator

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