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CARLISLE — The Carlisle Borough Council last Thursday accepted a “Brownfields Assessment Grant” from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the amount of $400,000.

Mark Malarich, the borough’s public works director and engineer, said the grant is provided to government entities looking to redevelop brownfield sites.

According to the EPA’s website, “brownfield sites” are property that will be expanded or redeveloped with the potential for complications due to hazardous substance, pollutants or contaminants—which could be found on former industrial sites.

“The grant is provided to assist the local entity in investigating any potential contamination that may be residual to the industrial activity or other items that could be undertaken to facilitate the redevelopment of that site,” he said.

In fall 2014, Carlisle was awarded a $1.5 million grant through PennDOT’s Multimodal Transportation Fund, the state’s transportation plan. That grant also included up to $500,000 for right-of-way acquisition for the Carlisle Urban Redevelopment Plan, according to Councilman Sean Shultz.

“It was determined to pursue an EPA Assessment grant in December of 2014 to be able to use EPA funds to mitigate the risk of building borough infrastructure, such as roadways or parks on former brownfields,” he said.

Shultz said the grant awarded Thursday evening could be used to “support borough staff involvement in managing the brownfields project, and collaborating with local public and private stakeholders” or to “conduct environmental assessments, investigations and cleanup planning at targeted brownfields sites in the Carlisle redevelopment project area.”

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Email Tyler at TMiles@cumberlink.com or follow him on Twitter at @SentinelMiles.

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