MONCKS CORNER, S.C. – (Thursday, September 15, 2022) – At its meeting on Monday, September 12, 2022, Berkeley County Council approved a $500,000 EPA Brownfields Assessment grant to help fund a large-scale revitalization initiative to greatly improve quality of life opportunities in the St. Stephen/Russellville area. Watch the full Council meeting HERE.
This grant, part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfields Community Wide Assessment Grant Program, will help fund environmental assessments on properties located within a certain designated Census Tract in the St. Stephen area. With the help of community and residential input, the Town of St. Stephen—together with the EPA and Berkeley County Economic Development—will conduct up to 15 site inventories of 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.
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. Another goal of this large-scale initiative will be to develop a complete revitalization plan unique to St. Stephen. <Read More>
Brownfields are properties that are or may be contaminated with hazardous substances, pollutants, petroleum or other contaminants that pose a barrier to productive reuse. Brownfields often are in struggling neighborhoods and areas with blight, deteriorated infrastructure, or other challenges. Brownfields may include public or private properties, green spaces, or parks in need of preservation.
Watch a video tutorial at the link below:
Brownfield properties can have either real or perceived contamination, and some may need remediation due to the presence of a contaminant. The positive impact of brownfield grant funding for a community, of any size, can be significant. By taking unused or blighted properties and transforming them into new business opportunities, housing, or recreational areas, communities become renewed.
For examples of completed projects, see links below:
Revitalizing brownfields provides new economic and social benefits to communities, in addition to improving environmental conditions. Reusing stagnant brownfield sites requires special attention. In communities with weak economic or market conditions, socioeconomic barriers, or other challenges, brownfields can remain idle for years. Still, a local community can take several actions even at the most challenging sites to best position brownfields for successful reuse.
Infrographic for grant – Terracon to provide
Brownfield Steering Committee
Margaret Darby McGill
Appointed in EPA Grant Narrative
Small Town Restoration
St. Stephen Growth & Development
Berkeley County School District
St. Stephen Town Council
Berkeley County Economic Development