East Texas, TX, July 10, 2023: The East Texas Council of Governments was recently awarded a Brownfields Assessment Coalition Grant
of $1 million from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This grant will allow ETCOG to lead environmental site assessments and reuse planning throughout the region. With a primary focus on Longview, Marshall, Kilgore, and Gladewater, this funding aims to revitalize and re-envision contaminated properties, fostering sustainable redevelopment across the 14-county ETCOG region.
The EPA’s Brownfields Program plays a crucial role in facilitating collaboration among states, communities, and stakeholders to prevent, assess, remediate, and sustainably repurpose brownfield sites. These sites, characterized by the presence or potential presence of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants, often pose challenges to expansion, redevelopment, and reuse. With this grant, ETCOG will help in addressing these challenges through environmental remediation and planning while creating opportunities for future growth.
“We are excited to receive this grant because it will be used to revitalize and repurpose land and related buildings throughout our region that currently, for whatever reason, cannot be used for productive purposes,” said ETCOG Executive Director David Cleveland. “Within this context, this Brownfields grant is both an environmental and economic development revitalization tool.”
The grant funds will support the assessment of approximately 31 sites in East Texas. The Brownfield Coalition has identified more than 100 sites to consider, including the former Stroh’s Brewery Right of Way in Longview (4.9 acres), a former gas station and convenience store in Longview, a former dry cleaner in Gladewater, the former M.W. Dogan School in Tyler (6 acres), the former Texas and Pacific Hospital in Marshall (7.7 acres), a former oil extraction site in Gladewater (8.3 acres), and a student housing complex known as The Quads in Kilgore (7.9 acres).
In anticipation of the project’s launch, a Brownfields Coalition meeting will take place in August, and the Brownfields Advisory Committee will meet in September with key stakeholders, including the Kilgore College Foundation, Gladewater Economic Development Corporation, Marshall Economic Development Corporation, Henderson Economic Development Corporation, East Texas Regional Development Corporation, the City of Longview, the City of Rusk, Longview Community Ministries, East Texas Baptist University, Northeast Texas Habitat for Humanity, and the City of Marshall.
To encourage local involvement, ETCOG plans to host public input forums beginning this fall, educating the public about initiatives and receiving feedback from the community for potential site locations. Through comprehensive investigations and community engagement, ETCOG is dedicated to transforming brownfield sites into safe, productive, and sustainable assets to benefit residents and contribute to the region’s economic growth.