For Immediate Release
February 1, 2010

KDHE Office of Communications, 785-296-0461

KDHE grant funds available to conduct environmental assessments

Communities in Barton, Pawnee, Edwards, Rice, McPherson, Reno, Stafford and Ellsworth Counties eligible for funding

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) Brownfields Program has been awarded a Petroleum Assessment Grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to promote redevelopment within eight counties (Barton, McPherson, Rice, Pawnee, Stafford, Reno, Ellsworth and Edwards) which comprise the Central Prairie Resource Conservation district. 

The grant funds, which have been earmarked specifically for these eight counties can be used to assess properties with environmental uncertainties that are being considered for redevelopment, reuse or expansion.  The targeted sites are primarily abandoned gas station properties, but may involve any property with potential petroleum issues.  Such properties may include, but are not limited to: auto repair shops, factories and oil production facilities.

Generally, it is the unknown environmental status of a particular property that dissuades development consideration.  Furthermore, it is often difficult for communities to find adequate funds to pay for environmental assessments. 

“The Kansas Brownfields Program, which KDHE administers with grant funds from the EPA, can provide the funding and technical assistance necessary to conduct such environmental assessments,” Roderick Bremby, KDHE Secretary, said. “As a result, idle properties can be utilized and property values can be restored to meet their maximum potentials.” 

For more information on grant participation please contact Ryan Weiser, KDHE Brownfields Coordinator, at 785-296-5519.