Most historic cities have brownfields.
Brownfields are underutilized and obsolete properties that are contaminated by substances that are considered environmentally hazardous now, even though such substances may not have been considered hazardous at the time when the properties were in active use. The St. Louis Development Corporation devotes a great deal of time, energy and resources to remediating these problems and making it possible for these sites to be returned to productive use.
Here are some examples you can observe.
As you drive on I-70 past the Goodfellow exit, you will soon see demolition and environmental crews at work on the highly visible “building with wings.” Crews selected to perform the work began mobilization on August 24. Thanks to the efforts of Senator Kit Bond and US Representative Lacy Clay, the SLDC received an Economic Development Administration grant to continue the environmental remediation and demolition work started by the federal government several years ago. Congressman Clay, Senator Bond and the State of Missouri also worked closely with SLDC to obtain this prominent site’s “early transfer” from the federal government to the City, so that the work necessary to prepare this brownfield site for productive reuse could be expedited. Located in the City’s 22nd Ward and highly visible from Interstate 70, this 19-acre tract is being marketing by SLDC for a retail use.
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources is also conducting environmental remediation activities on an LRA-owned property at 200 Penrose. SLDC used Environmental Protection Agency grant funds to confirm the presence and contents of underground tanks at the site, and Missouri’s Petroleum Storage Tank Insurance Fund, administered by the DNR, funded detailed investigations and is paying for the cleanup.
And work continues on the Old North St. Louis petroleum tank cleanup initiative. Funded with part of a $200,000 EPA grant awarded in 2004, SLDC staff members are working with the neighborhood Restoration Group and the private owners of selected petroleum sites to conduct environmental site assessments. Similar activities are underway at other abandoned gas stations in the City’s neighborhoods. Addressing environmental issues at these sites makes it possible for neighborhoods like Old North to look forward to the day when these sites can be neighborhood assets rather than abandoned eyesores.
SLDC staff meets regularly with federal and state officials to review progress on and develop strategies to address the City’s brownfields issues.
EPA Revolving Loan funds are expected to assist Grand Center and Pyramid in the rehabilitation of the Metropolitan Building on Grand Avenue by providing resources for asbestos and lead abatement.