Nashville/ Real Estate & Development
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Published on May 28, 2024
Dunlap Receives $632K EPA Grant to Revitalize Contaminated Automotive SiteSource: Google Street View

Good news for the City of Dunlap as it bags a hefty $632,807 federal grant to breathe new life into a polluted piece of its past. With a nod from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), the city is poised to clean up the old Victory Automotive property, which has sat vacant, marred by contamination.

The cash is just a slice of the larger environmental pie, with Chattanooga and the South Central Tennessee Development District also cashing in on the federal fund extravaganza. Announced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), these grants add up to a cool $5.6 million across Tennessee, aiming to scrub clean a slate of brownfield sites. TDEC proudly played the wingman, supporting the grant applications, and pledged to stick around offering their expertise till the job's done.

"We congratulate these communities on their success in obtaining the grants, and we are pleased to have provided assistance in the process," said Greg Young, deputy commissioner for Environment at TDEC, in a statement oozing satisfaction over the collaboration's result. Brownfields, usually a blight, are on the cusp of transformation into community treasures thanks to the federal dollars.

The EPA's heavy wallet is opening up nationwide, part of the Investing in America's initiative dealing out over $300 million. Dunlap's share is destined for the former Victory Automotive spot – a contaminated patch left behind by its previous life as an auto repair shop and car dealership that shut its doors in 2020. Along with cleaning up the festering cocktail of inorganic contaminants and volatile organic compounds, part of the grant will ink the final cleanup plan and get locals in on the act.

South Central Tennessee Development District is pooling efforts with Shelbyville, Bedford County, and Lincoln County to lay the groundwork for brownfield assessments in a 13-county tag team. Chattanooga's not left out in the cold; a supplemental Revolving Loan Funding grant has got its back for site cleanups across the city. A brownfield, typically avoided like the plague due to fears of contamination, is seeing the dawn of revitalization and diminishing threats to health and safety, ushering in a new era of environmentally conscious urban renewal.