By Linda Cicoira

About $66.5 million in EPA Multipurpose Assessment, and Cleanup grants will be given to 151 communities including one on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, the agency announced this week.

Virginia will see about $1.5 million of the funds. Northampton County was selected for a $300,000 Brownfields Assessment Grant.   

According to the announcement, community-wide funds will be used to develop ten Phase I and five Phase II environmental site assessments. The money also will be used to develop cleanup and reuse plans, and conduct community outreach activities.

“Priority sites include a former railroad depot, a former Benjamin’s Department Store, and a former Coca-Cola bottling plant, all in the target area of the Town of Exmore,” the announcement continued.

This funding will support underserved and economically disadvantaged communities across the country in assessing and cleaning up contaminated and abandoned industrial and commercial properties. Approximately 50 percent of selected recipients will receive the funding for the first time and more than 85 percent are in small communities.

“Through our Brownfields Program, the EPA is delivering on the Biden Administration’s commitment to lifting up and protecting overburdened communities across America, especially communities that have experienced long periods of disinvestment and decay,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “These assessment and cleanup grants will not only support economic growth and job creation, but they will also empower communities to address the environmental, public health, and social issues associated with contaminated land.”