The Head of Three Rivers Project partnered with the Letcher County Conservation District in 2007 to write two proposals to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for assessment of Mine-Scarred Lands Brownfields. In April, the agency awarded the district two $200,000 grants — the first MSL Brownfields grants ever competitively awarded in EPA’s Southeast Region.
Brownfields are former industrial properties that are or are perceived to be contaminated. Brownfields assessment grants fund studies of those sites to determined if they are contaminated, and if so how to remove that contamination. The grants awarded to the conservation district will pay for the assessment of hazardous substances and petroleum contamination of groundwater as a result of abandoned mines or mining facilities.
The Head of Three Rivers project will oversee much of the work and conduct public meetings. An inventory of sites, assessment of high-priority sites and planning for environmental cleanup of contaminated sites will be done by companies or agencies on the basis of competitive bids and proposals. The grant period is July 1, 2008- June 30, 2011.