Pascagoula offering environmental agency grants for property owners

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Property owners in Pascagoula, who want to either develop or sell their property, but suspect the property has environmental issues, may apply for a grant for an environmental assessment.

According to city officials, Pascagoula received $400,000 in Brownfields Assessment grants from the United States Environmental Agency (EPA).

"With this grant from the EPA, we will be able to make measurable steps towards development on properties along the Pascagoula River and throughout the Central Business District," said Pascagoula Community and Economic Development Director, Jen Dearman. "Once the environmental assessment studies are complete, we can seek additional funding to perform any actual clean-up. Cleaning up Brownfields sites can open the door to new and redevelopment of sites that are frequently overlooked due to unknown environmental situations. This grant allow us to remove this unknown and welcome development."

City officials say a Brownfields site is any site that has or is believed to have environmental problems. An example would be a dry cleaner or automotive station or repair shops, tire stores and industries.

The grants can make a property more aesthetically pleasing if the environmental concerns are found and can be removed. Additionally, they help serve as a selling point.

Environmental site assessments operate in phases. The Brownfields Assessment grant covers Phases 1-4. The process can be stopped and results are never used to enforce remediation. Once an owner completes this program, there are additional grant opportunities to cover the actual cleanup costs.

There is no contractual obligation to the city or any firms. And there will be no enforced regulatory action against the property owner. For more information on this program, or to see if your property qualifies, please contact the Department of Community and Economic Development at 228.938.6639.

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