Two former gas stations, which were brownfield sites, had the underground storage tanks and also all other sources of contamination removed. The area has been redeveloped into residences, with storefront retail use on the lower level and condominiums on the upper level of the structures.
A group of stakeholders with assistance from the federal government cleaned up and decontaminated a brownfield site of 30 acres, which had been a metal fabrication, auto dealer and repair shop, to provide better living conditions for a culturally mixed area. Vacant lots and substandard residential properties were converted into affordable housing where ENERGY STAR products were used and materials were environmentally friendly. The 7.4 acres of underutilized industrial buildings which had been contaminated were converted into a new Boys & Girls Club and outdoor athletic complex.
Greenville, South Carolina
The City of Greenville in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains from 1982-2004 added $160 million of new residential construction and has spent another $100 million in renovating older neighborhoods. This has resulted in a thriving downtown area and what is being called a “state-of-the-art” community in which to live. However, 1.2 miles from this downtown the West Greenville Center area of 230 acres consists of large numbers of people (mostly from minorities) living below the poverty level, high unemployment, and dilapidated and limited affordable housing with extremely poor infrastructure. The area has a large number of brownfields, mostly large, abandoned or barely used industrial operations. In addition, there are gas stations, dry-cleaning facilities, railroad properties, and other sites with unknown amounts of environmental contamination. The city, working with several Environmental Protection Agency programs and grants in partnership with Clemson University and others did an intensive study to determine the environmental problems existing in the various brownfield sites. Ground-penetrating radar was used as one of the techniques for determining underground storage tanks and contamination. Necessary cleanup for decontamination followed on several properties. One project involved collaboration between the Upstate Homeless Coalition of South Carolina, the South Carolina Department of Mental Health, the Greenville Mental Health Center, the Phoenix Center for substance abuse, community churches, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, state housing programs, and the City of Greenville. A brand-new structure was built that provides a safe haven for the chronically homeless in Greenville and in South Carolina. The vast majority of the people seeking shelter are mentally ill as well as homeless. Another property was purchased by the Salvation Army of Greenville and it built a community center for disadvantaged residents and their families. Besides this group, a local Boys & Girls Club has access to and uses the facility for programs. A new elementary school is being built next to the community center. Critical housing and care will follow.