The City of Tallahassee announced on May 13, 2022, that the city was awarded $500,000 by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through its Brownfields Assessment Grant program. The grant will be used for environmental assessments and clean-up planning.
Additionally, the city expects to use some funds for community involvement activities for properties around Tallahassee’s Southside.
Brownfields are properties where the presence of environmental contamination hinders redevelopment or reuse. Therefore, the grant allows the city to assess and clean up the properties in order to reinvest and protect the health of citizens/the environment, reduce blight, and, most importantly, allow for the reuse of properties for development to take pressure off expanding into green space areas.
The target area noted within the grant application includes mixed commercial and residential properties. Previous Brownfields grants have aided in assessing, cleaning up, and redeveloping sites along the Gaines Street corridor, the South Monroe Street corridor, and the former St. Marks Refinery site.
The City of Tallahassee Director of Environmental Services Alissa Meyers stated, “The City’s Brownfields Redevelopment Program has consistently been recognized as one of the most successful in the state of Florida and the southeastern United States, having received more than $3 million in grant funding since 2008.”
Previous Brownfield Grants
In July 2008 the City received a Brownfields Assessment grant for $400,000 to assess potential contamination on properties along the Gaines Street Corridor. The funds were used to complete 13 Phase I, Phase II, and/or supplemental Environmental Site Assessments at nine City-owned properties in the Gaines Street Corridor, covering approximately 15 acres. The assessment activities contributed data to later cleanup grants, and led to regulatory closure with conditions at the site known as CSX Parcel 5.
In July 2009 the City received three Brownfields Cleanup grants totaling $600,000 to be applied to remediation projects in the Gaines Street Corridor. Funds from the Salie Property grant were used to remediate the site to residential cleanup standards, and the City received regulatory closure without conditions. For lots under the CSX Properties grant, funds were used at CSX Parcels 1 and 4 to remove contaminated soils, and the City is seeking regulatory closure with conditions at both sites. For the Gaines Street Corridor Properties grant, funds were used to remediate the Warehouse Property, where the City is seeking regulatory closure with conditions.
In July 2011 the City and the Tallahassee Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) received a $1,000,000 Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund Grant (RLF) that allows them to issue subgrants or loan funds at competitive rates, to be used for the cleanup of environmental contamination. City and CRA staff have developed program policies and guidelines and applications, and established a Loan Review Committee that reviews financial information provided by applicants and recommends actions to the City Commission.