Savannah, Ga. — U.S. Senators Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff delivered new resources to help remove hazardous contaminants and substances from properties in Savannah.
Today, Sens. Ossoff and Warnock delivered new resources through the bipartisan infrastructure law to help expedite the cleanup of hazardous materials across high-risk areas in Savannah, including the Pennsylvania Avenue Assemblage property, the CSX Railroad Properties site on Wheaton Street, and the Patel Property on W. Bay Street.
The new resources will be used to assess contaminated sites across the area, develop new cleanup plans to remove the pollutants, and revitalize existing infrastructure to boost job growth in the community.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), people living near “brownfield” sites may be exposed to hazardous substances by drinking groundwater impacted by the site, by wind carrying contamination off the site, or by walking on the site itself — leading to long-term environmental and public health risks.
“Above all this is about our communities’ health. No family in Savannah should live in fear of contaminants in their communities,” Sen. Ossoff said. “That’s why Senator Warnock and I are delivering these historic public health and environmental cleanup efforts across Georgia. I thank President Biden, Administrator Regan, and Southeast Regional Administrator Blackman for their support.”
“As a preacher, I believe we are all called to be good stewards of our planet and its resources, so as a public servant, I was proud to champion the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and its critical investments in cleaning up communities in Chatham County and across Georgia that have been impacted by industrial waste,” said Senator Reverend Warnock. “We know that historically disadvantaged communities bear the brunt of the public health and economic downfalls posed by contaminant exposure; this robust grant is an important next step in alleviating these risks and creating a safer, healthier Coastal Georgia for all.”
“I applaud this historic public health and environmental cleanup effort in Savannah that will help protect our community,” said Savannah Mayor Van R. Johnson, II. “I commend Senators Ossoff and Warnock, and local and federal officials, who worked together to ensure our families are safe and will have all the opportunities to thrive without worrying about contamination caused by hazardous materials.”
“Chatham County is grateful for the efforts of Senators Warnock and Ossoff to secure funding that will help remove hazardous materials from our community. We recognize the importance of cleaning up these properties and how doing so will help ensure the protection of our citizen’s health,” said Chatham County Commission Chairman Chester A. Ellis.
The bipartisan infrastructure law included increased assistance for designated brownfields communities across the U.S. — areas the EPA has identified to contain contaminated properties.
The City of Savannah will receive a $1 million grant through the bipartisan infrastructure law’s EPA Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) Grant program to begin contamination removal and support community engagement activities.
According to the EPA, the grant will be used to capitalize a revolving loan fund from which the City of Savannah will provide up to four loans and two subgrants to support cleanup activities.
Savannah is one of four communities across Georgia to receive this important grant. According to the EPA, there are currently more than 450,000 brownfields across the nation, and these areas commonly experience declining property values, reduced social services, and other risks to residents’ quality of life.