Environment Local News

Metro Awarded EPA Grant for Brownfields Assessment

The Environmental Protection Agency has awarded thousands of dollars to Louisville Metro Government.

The $400,000 will go toward evaluating potential hazardous waste and petroleum problems in the Park Hill industrial corridor southwest of downtown.

Daniel Makela is a metro economic development officer. He hopes the money will encourage investors to redevelop the area in line with a plan the city developed in 2009.

“That strategy or that plan kind of identifies the Park Hill area as kind of a focus for Louisville’s new manufacturing economy and bringing back that industrial or manufacturing core to the city,” he said. “And we’ve identified brownfield redevelopment as kind of key to that process.”

The money will be used to conduct environmental assessments of potential development sites in the area. Makela says this could encourage investors to redevelop, because they’ll know exactly what hurdles their project could face.

The city also has a revolving loan program for brownfields cleanup, which could complement the new assessment grants.

Covington and Lexington were also awarded grants in this year’s funding cycle.

Local News

New Study Reveals Higher Heart Risk from Soot

A 1997 American Cancer Society study of more than a million people over seven years examined long-term exposure to soot and its relationship with mortality rates. This month, researchers at the Health Effects Institute announced the results of a reanalysis of that study, which included 11 years of follow up with the original participants.

They found that when they included neighborhood level data such as income and education levels, the risk factor from soot pollution increased significantly.  Louisville has struggled with higher-than-advised soot levels, both from vehicle traffic as well as industrial sources.

On the web: Health Effects Institute study