Today, the Knoxville News Sentinel published an article spotlighting Brownfields program successes of the Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation (TDEC). Since the program’s inception in 1995, Tennessee has received more than $12 million in funding from U.S. EPA.
Two showcase projects, the Knoxville South Waterfront and the Nashville Gulch, took unusable and contaminated land and transformed them into functional spaces creating jobs, new sources of revenue, and increased property value. The newly created mixed-use area of restaurants, stores and condominiums called The Gulch in in downtown Nashville was formerly a neglected wasteland after a passenger rail company left in 1979. Brownfields grants made it possible for this contaminated area to be assessed, cleaned up, and later revitalized, forming one of the city’s most lively districts.
Success stories like these prompted TDEC Commissioner Martineau to testify April 4 on behalf of ECOS in favor of Brownfields reauthorization before the House Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy. A link to his testimony can be found here.