Maggie Weiser, State Brownfields Coordinator
Phone: (785) 296-5519 Fax: (785)-296-7030 or (785)-296-1686
1000 SW Jackson, Suite 410
Topeka, KS 66612-1367
What are "Brownfields"?
Brownfields are real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. Often the potential liability associated with contamination complicates business development, property transactions, or expansion on these properties.
Cleaning up and redeveloping brownfields properties is necessary to preserve neighborhoods, reduce urban sprawl, and stop the continued development of new industrial and commercial facilities on farmland. By investigating and cleaning up a brownfields property and taking care of the site's potential health or environmental risks, communities can use local land again - producing jobs, increasing the tax base, or adding other benefits such as creating a park or residential area.
Almost every city and county, in both rural and urban areas, has brownfields properties. KDHE currently has programs to assist communities with brownfields property redevelopment.
Brownfields Program Awarded Grant Funds
BER's Brownfields Program has been selected to receive $600,000 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Brownfields Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund and Cleanup (ARC) Grants program. BER collaborated with the City of Chanute, the Fort Scott Bourbon County Riverfront Authority, and the City of Ottawa to submit a Brownfields Coalition Assessment Grant application in November 2012. The ARC grant process is part of an annual national competition, and KDHE, along with its coalition partners, is one of the 240 selected recipients in 45 states to receive ARC grants for 2013. This grant will allow KDHE to reach out to more neighborhoods that might not otherwise have access to resources to address redevelopment of blighted areas in their communities.
A majority of the ARC grant funds will be used for the assessment and cleanup planning of approximately 60 brownfields properties located within the coalition target communities of Chanute, Fort Scott and Ottawa. Upon completion of the brownfields process, future use of these properties may include, but are not limited to, manufacturing, community centers, greenspaces and recreational areas.
While most of the assessment funds will be used in coalition areas in Chanute, Fort Scott and Ottawa, remaining funds will be applied across Kansas.
Good News for Kansas Brownfields
- "City moving forward with Memorial Hall, Riverfront Park projects." September 19, 2013, The Fort Scott Tribune.
Recent Kansas Brownfields Program Accomplishments
The Kansas Brownfields Program has recently been instrumental in the redevelopment of two brownfields properties. The 0 West Third Street site in Cherryvale is a successfully remediated property that in the past had lead-contaminated smelter waste used as fill material. The Leavenworth Hotel BTA brownfields site cleared the way to redevelop 16 properties in Leavenworth into a new Mariott Brand Hotel and Convention Center.
Brownfields Newsletter and Listserv
- Brownfields Redevelopment Success in Kansas (.pdf, 3 MB) presents case studies of 72 Brownfields sites all over the state of Kansas, and their successful redevelopment into productive properties.
- Brownfields Redevelopment Toolbox: Enabling Brownfields Cleanup and Redevelopment in Kansas Communities (.pdf) is a step-by-step guide to planning and implementing a Brownfields program.
- Brownfields Program Flyer (.pdf) - KDHE Program Information
- Brownfields Targeted Assessment Application Package (.pdf)
- "Writing Request for Proposals: a Primer for Brownfields Pilots" (.pdf) Written by Great Plains/Rocky Mountain Research Center
- EPA Brownfields Assessment Grants: Interested in Applying for Funding? (.pdf)