Potentially contaminated Gautier properties getting cleaned up

Potentially contaminated Gautier properties getting cleaned up

GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - A grant from the Environmental Protection Agency is helping revitalize contaminated or potentially contaminated properties in Gautier, and set them up for redevelopment.

One such property is the old Jerry Lee fueling station on Hwy. 90 where gas tanks were removed and the soil tested for contamination.

The work is being funded by a $400,000 Brownfields Assessment Grant awarded to Gautier in October 2014. At the end of its second year, 12 properties have been assessed, with 10 identified as sites "ready for redevelopment."

No environmental concerns were found at the sites. Five areas were evaluated at a more intensive level with sampling that included soil and groundwater testing. All of those sites now meet the State of Mississippi's screening levels for soil and ground water.

Brownfield properties often remain idle for long periods of time due to fear of extra costs or complications associated with redeveloping these types of properties. The funds will be used to foster economic development and support local businesses by encouraging redevelopment of these brownfields that may otherwise remain deserted or underutilized.

An environmental expert from Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood, a regional engineering and architecture firm, will present an update to the community on the current status of the project, including properties ready for reuse and next steps, on Tuesday, Nov. 1, at 6:30 p.m. at the City Council Chambers.

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