WFRPC represents seven counties with a combined population of 886,505 in Florida’s western panhandle. After decades of slow decline, the region’s basic industries, including pulp mills, timber and commercial fishing, have been replaced by residential and higher-priced coastal development. This shift in the economy has displaced many workers and businesses. Numerous potentially contaminated sites, including manufacturing facilities, dry cleaners and salvage yards, are scattered throughout the region. Reports indicate that 204 hazardous substances releases and more than 1,366 petroleum discharges occurred in the region in 2006. Cleanup and redevelopment conducted through the RLF grant are expected to create new jobs and stimulate economic growth. As a result of these findings, WFRPC was awarded a Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) grant.
What is a Brownfield?
Brownfields are real property where the expansion, redevelopment or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant. Cleaning up and reinvesting in these properties takes development pressures off of undeveloped, open land and both improves and protects the environment.
The purpose of WFRPC’s Brownfields program is to assist in site assessment, cleanup planning, and remediation activities. These activities are intended to promote redevelopment of the funded sites and future reuse of the property.The RLF is a financial tool that can be used with tax credit incentives to address an environmental issue to encourage redevelopment. WFRPC can provide a creative solution to address cleanup of brownfields through below-market-rate loans, thereby assisting public and private sector developers in revitalizing these properties. For more information, please click here.