Neighborhood Residents Will Identify Properties for Environmental Cleanup

DELAWARE COUNTY, Ind. – A group of neighborhood residents will lead an effort to identify former industrial properties for cleanup using $500,000 in federal funds.

The East Central Indiana Regional Planning District won the $500,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA chose 10 Indiana organizations and communities that would receive part of $9.4 million in funding to assess or clean up brownfield sites, which are properties with suspected contamination from former industrial plant operations.

The ECI Regional Planning District will administer the grant but a steering committee of residents from the Whitely, Industry and McKinley neighborhoods will identify the sites.

The committee includes neighborhood residents and activists Anitra Davis, Ken Hudson, Watasha Barnes Griffin, Frank Scott and Richard Ivy and Muncie Community Development director Gretchen Cheesman.

The committee will determine the sites that will receive phase one and phase two environmental assessments and future cleanup, said Bill Walters, executive director of the East Central Indiana Regional Planning District.

“In this phase, we’re looking for environmental justice for areas that have not had any funding and have seen severe decline,” Walters said.

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