Some West Bank contaminated sites may be re-born thanks to the EPA.
Some West Bank lots that now sit empty or defunct, haunted by the hazardous remains of their past lives, will soon have a shot at revival thanks to $900,000 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The money is intended to assess the condition of brownfield sites in Algiers, Westwego and elsewhere in West Jefferson and to develop cleanup plans. A brownfield is property that might hold contaminants from past use and requires cleanup before redevelopment. “I hope that your communities will be able to use this grant to revitalize individual properties and promote economic health, economic growth and job creation where it’s needed most,” said Stacey Dwyer, the EPA’s deputy director for land, chemicals and redevelopment. The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality will lead the assessment of more than a dozen Algiers sites, including two former gasoline stations and mechanic shops, a swimming pool complex that has gone unused in a park since Hurricane Katrina and 10 residential properties, EPA said. It will receive $300,000 for this work.nola.com
Jefferson Parish is moving forward with efforts to categorize the sites.
With $600,000, the Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission, Parish President Cynthia Lee Sheng’s administration and Westwego will create an online inventory of brownfield sites, conduct a market study of target sites and assess several former industrial tracts. They include a 46-acre industrial tract and the Gulf State Asphalt property in Westwego, the Johns Manville plant, the former Lowery Brothers Rigging Center and the former Ramrod Trucking property. “Access to this grant will help eliminate the financial barriers that potential purchasers run into. Oftentimes, we have prospects that like these sites, but they can’t handle the financial burden and liability that goes with it,” said Jerry Bologna, the commission’s president and CEO.