Atlanta gets 800K from EPA to clean, assess polluted areas

ATLANTA (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded the city of Atlanta two grants totaling $800,000 to clean up or assess contaminated areas, officials announced Tuesday.

The projects were selected through the agency’s Brownfields program, which allocates funds for communities to restore properties, often industrial sites, where development has been complicated by the presence or potential presence of pollutants, the agency said in a statement.

The city's development authority, Invest Atlanta, received a $500,000 grant to clean up parts of the Southside Beltline trail, an unpaved interim path along an abandoned railroad corridor, officials announced. The nearly mile-long trail was an active freight route until 1914 and was found to be contaminated with heavy metals and other pollutants, according to the statement.

The City of Atlanta received $300,000 to assess or develop cleanup plans for a CSX rail corridor, a brick manufacturing property and a site near the Chattahoochee River, the EPA statement said. The funds will also go toward community involvement activities, including hosting public meetings and creating and outreach materials.

U.S. Republican Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler said the efforts could help attract new businesses to the state while improving public health and the environment, according to the statement.