Updated Thu, May 29, 2014 5:05 pm
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency presented Athens with $400,000 for environmental cleanup.
The award was given to the Athens County Port Authority Wednesday with brownfield grants for new investments to study contaminated properties, increase local economies and generate jobs while protecting human health.
EPA awarded a $200,000 assessment grant for hazardous substances and a $200,000 assessment grant for petroleum.
The grant funds will be used to conduct Phase I and Phase II environmental site assessments. The money will also go toward supporting community outreach activities and conducting cleanup planning.
The grant will be administered by the Athens County Economic Development Council on behalf of the Port Authority.
EPA's Brownfields Program encourages environmentally friendly practices.
A brownfield is land that is real property but cannot be properly used or changed due to the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance. Under the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act, passed in 2002, EPA grants money to assess and fix dangers, according to the EPA's release.
Since the founding the EPA's Brownfields program in 1995, investments have leveraged more than $21 billion from various public and private sources for cleanup and redevelopment activities.
EPA's Brownfields Program aims to help communities be environmentally friendly and reuse brownfields sites.