Archived Story

Natchez applying for EPA grant

Published 12:23am Sunday, September 30, 2012

NATCHEZ — The City of Natchez is applying for $400,000 grant it was previously denied from the Environmental Protection Agency that will fund a study to identify and possibly clean up any environmental contamination at industrial sites.

Jay Estes of Eco-Systems Inc. reported to the Natchez Board of Aldermen at its Tuesday meeting that the grant application was nearly complete and ready to be sent.

The city applied for the grant last fiscal year and narrowly missed being rewarded it, Estes said. The city now has the benefit, he said, of including suggested improvements from DEQ to the application.

The grant requires no matching funds from the city.

A brownfield is a site where redevelopment is difficult because of the presence of hazardous, pollutants or contaminants. City Engineer David Gardner said abandoned industrial sites are potential brownfields.

Gardner said he feels the city has a stronger application for the grant this fiscal year.

“We feel we have a good chance of getting the grant this year,” he said.

Gardner and Natchez Inc. Executive Director Chandler Russ said the grant could improve economic development recruitment opportunities for the city.

Russ said the grant not only identifies contamination at industrial sites, it will also provide a plan of action the city can take to clean up the sites.

The grant, Gardner said, will broaden the city’s economic development appeal because a lot of the leg work will already be done for potential industries.

Russ has said if there is any contamination to be found, the study would help identify the source so future developers are not accountable for the pollution, which he said will make the sites more attractive to potential developers.

Eco-Systems Inc., an environmental engineering firm, is completing the grant application on behalf of the city at no cost.

Estes said the city can expect to hear whether it will receive the grant in May 2013.

The projected timeline for the project is three years, and Gardner said it could help the city reach its economic and job creation goals, Gardner said.

  • Anonymous

    RUSS, IF ANY CONTAMINATION IS IDENTIFY, SHOULDN’T THE INDUSTRIAL THAT CREATED THE MESS BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CLEAN UP INSTEAD OF THE CITY?

  • http://www.facebook.com/san.rucker San Rucker

    do you study how to clean your garage out or how to keep your house clean?
    they got this study sh** from TVA. everytime tva gets ready to build another killer nuclear plant, they do a 22million dollar study.
    the federal gov’t is suppose to be reducing the national debit. all of these unnecessary grants ADD to the deficit.
    clean the industrial sites up and stop wasting tax dollars and stuffing your pockets with ‘pork’.

  • Anonymous

    I suppose Eco-Systems is completing the grant for free, expecting none of it for their services. Yeah, right. More crony capitalism at the expense of taxpayers.

  • Anonymous

    “killer” nuclear plant? Interesting considering nuclear is the only energy sector in the US never to have a major incident resulting in numerous deaths. Statistically it is the cleanest, safest source we use. But, hey, keep spouting long discredited leftist talking points from the ’80s.

  • http://www.facebook.com/san.rucker San Rucker

    no state wants to accept the radioactive waste and i don’t blame NO state for that decision. the trucks have to move it through and anything could happen FROM CITY TO CITY OR STATE TO STATE. nuclear reactors pose a major threat to this planet, even the half-life is far too long, not to mention our great-great great great great great grands having to deal with it.

  • Anonymous

    While that is true, “anything could happen” is a general statement that could apply to anything. Nuclear reactors are, in themselves, no particular threat. The data just doesn’t back that up. Dealing with waste is indeed an issue but by no means an insurmountable one. You are, by the way, moving the goalposts a bit. My comment was in reference to your “killer nuclear plant” comment, not the unrelated logistic issues of dealing with nuclear waste.