Congressman Morgan Griffith is taking credit for a $300,000 Brownfields Assessment Coalition Grant targeting the City of Martinsville. Griffith sits on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, in charge of the process of authorizing funding for the Brownfields Program through 2023.

In a release, Griffith says “The Brownfields Program assists local communities in cleaning up and redeveloping former industrial and commercial sites in preparation for new economic endeavors. This $300,000 brownfields grant will help the City of Martinsville assess such locations in the area and plan for their recovery and reuse. These funds are a valuable aid to environmental restoration and economic growth in Martinsville.”

According to the EPA, the assessment grant includes $180,000 for hazardous substances and $120,000 for petroleum. Among the purposes the funds will be used for environmental site assessments and redevelopment plans, the development of a GIS-based brownfields site inventory and database, site prioritization, and community outreach activities.

Wayne Knox, Assistant City Manager and Community Development Director for the City of Martinsville says the “grant is a continuation of the assessments that we have been conducting over the past couple of years. The funds are divided into hazardous substances, and petroleum assessments. The assessments are environmental Phase I and Phase II.”

Knox says the city plans to focus on sites in the Uptown Martinsville neighborhood including “the Rives Theater, Chief Tassel Building, and the Sara Lee Apparel plant.”