MONCKS CORNER, S.C. – (Thursday, April 6, 2023) – Berkeley County Economic Development will host a Brownfield 101 community meeting on Tuesday, April 11 at 5:30 p.m. at the American Legion Hut in St. Stephen, located at 180 Ravenell Drive.
This informational meeting will provide more details on the $500,000 EPA Brownfield Assessment Grant Berkeley County Council accepted in September 2022. Economic Development officials and representatives with Terracon Consulting Engineers and Scientists, SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be on hand to answer questions.
This grant is part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfield Assessment Grant Program and will help fund the first steps in a large-scale revitalization initiative to improve quality of life opportunities in the St. Stephen/Russellville area. Specifically, the grant will allow the Town of St. Stephen, Berkeley County Economic Development, and the EPA to work together to determine brownfield sites in the St. Stephen area that could be redeveloped to provide more job opportunities and other quality of life resources for the community.
Brownfield sites are properties that are or may be contaminated with hazardous substances, pollutants, petroleum, or other contaminants that pose a barrier to productive reuse. Such sites are often are in struggling neighborhoods and areas with blight, deteriorated infrastructure, or other challenges. A brownfield site may include public or private properties, green spaces, or parks in need of preservation. The grant has already identified two such sites: the former St. Stephen High School, which closed in 1996, and the area’s former Lumber Mill, which operated as a steam-powered lumber mill from the 1930s to mid-1960s and closed around 1970.
Members of the public are encouraged to submit information HERE if they own a property or know of a property in the St. Stephen area that could be considered for an assessment as a brownfield site. Landowners may be asked to participate in an assessment by providing information on the site’s history.
This EPA program also provides funding for these assessments—which are critical for determining real estate values—and will help identify and/or alleviate any potential environmental concerns at a site.
This revitalization initiative, which will be conducted in multiple phases, will include community input and engagement throughout the entirety of the process. For more information on the EPA Brownfield Assessment Grant Program, go HERE.
-Prepared by the Berkeley County Public Information Office-