EPA Awards $500,000 Grant to Walker County

ROSSVILLE, Ga. — The E-P-A has awarded a five hundred thousand dollar grant to Walker County.

The grant includes funding to contract an environmental consultant, who will evaluate sites such as Peerless Woolen Mills in Rossville.

“There could be chemicals where some company previously owned the land and then made a product that was chemically based, or could be asbestos, could be anything,” said Georgia House District 1 Representative Mike Cameron.

These sites are prime locations for redevelopment, but have been inhibited by environmental hazards and the cost of cleanup.

The grant gives Walker County a chance to resolve both of those issues.

“We want to work with those property owners, not from a big stick approach or from a citation or anything like that, this is to get property owners to come forward to let us help them get their properties cleaned up so those properties can be revitalized and used to the best and highest use in the county,” said Walker County Board of Commissioners Chair Shannon Whitfield.

But this grant is only for property assessment and the development of a cleanup plan.

More money will be needed in the future for cleanup and redevelopment.

“A lot of times, property cleanup, we understand, from what the EPA tells us — a lot of the cleanup grants are around a million per site, so this is going to be a multi-year process,and we want to try to get as many properties as we [can] cleaned up, by using federal tax dollars coming back to Walker County to do these cleanups,” said Whitfield.

Categories: Environment, Featured, Local News, Walker County