Former brick manufacturing site set to become new public park
Atlanta, Ga. — U.S. Senators Jon Ossoff and Reverend Raphael Warnock and Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05) are delivering new resources to help clean up the abandoned Chattahoochee Brick Company site in the City of Atlanta, which is now set to become a public park.
Sens. Ossoff and Warnock and Rep. Williams delivered new resources through the bipartisan infrastructure law to help expedite the cleanup of hazardous materials from the old Chattahoochee Brick Company site at Parrott Ave NW and Brick Plant Road NW, which operated a brick-making factory from 1878 to 2010.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the cleanup site is currently littered with battery carcasses, demolition debris, defective bricks, and waste generated from the brick-making process — contaminating the area with heavy metals, petroleum products, and other harmful pollutants that may cause health risks.
The new resources will be used to remove hazardous substances from the property and clean up a large amount of contaminated fill that was dumped in the Proctor Creek floodplain near the back of the site.
“Above all this is about our communities’ health. No family in Atlanta should live in fear of contaminants in their communities” Sen. Ossoff said. “That’s why Senator Warnock, Congresswoman Williams, 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 Fulton 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 two million dollar grant is an important next step in alleviating these risks and creating a safer, healthier Atlanta for all.”
“For too long, Whittier Mill Village residents have been unable to enjoy the full potential of their neighborhood because of the mess left behind by the Chattahoochee Brick Site. After decades of work to remediate the site, the work still isn’t done. With this $2,000,000 grant from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we can partner with the community to find the best way to finish the job,”Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05) said.
“Reclaiming this land has been a group project from the beginning, thanks to partners like The Conservation Fund, The Kendeda Fund and the countless members of the community who refused to give up on memorializing a painful but important chapter in our history. Atlanta can always count on Senator Ossoff, Senator Warnock and Congresswoman Williams, and we appreciate their leadership and diligence in delivering these funds to restore the land with a painful past that will become Atlanta’s first park with direct access to the Chattahoochee River,” said Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens.
“I am excited to hear that the EPA has awarded a $2M Brownfields Cleanup Grant to the City of Atlanta in order to remediate the historically, ecologically, and culturally important Chattahoochee Brick site. This will help our City continue its process, as we engage the surrounding community and other partners, to transform this 75 acres along the Chattahoochee River to a memorial park and greenspace,” Atlanta City Councilmember Dustin Hills said. “While we continue to push ahead here in Atlanta to “Bring Our City to its River”, we could not do so without the support of our federal partners like Congresswoman Williams, Senator Warnock, and Senator Ossoff, who have also made the Chattahoochee River a priority.”
The bipartisan infrastructure law included increased assistance for designated brownfields communities across the U.S. — areas the EPA has identified to contain contaminated properties.
According to the 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.
Atlanta will receive $2 million through the bipartisan infrastructure law’s EPA brownfields grant program to begin contamination removal and support community engagement activities.
Atlanta is one of four communities across Georgia to receive this 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.