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Downtown Dover Partnership receives $1 million EPA grant for brownfield cleanup

Milton Pratt
Delaware Public Media

The Downtown Dover Partnership receives $1 million for brownfield site cleanups.

The grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) comes from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and was awarded to DDP to conduct several environmental assessments at brownfield sites.

DDP Operations Manager Tina Bradbury explains that brownfields are former industrial or commercial sites, abandoned due to ground pollution.

“So we go in, we take this money, and we use it to clean up, test some things to see what is exactly contaminating the waters, if there is a building, if there is any asbestos that needs to be removed, if there’s any lead paint in a building that has been left behind," Bradbury says.

Bradbury says they have rehabilitated several sites in Dover already such as the Inner City Cultural League property.

“And we do all the remedies to get that back to a site that we can now build and erect something new and exciting for the community whether that is a place for people to live, for people to shop, eat, or just a community space.”

Bradbury says grant funds also will be used to clean up other properties in the Downtown Development District boundary of Dover.

DDP’s grant application lists several locations on Loockerman Street like the former Dover Machine Works parking lot and the old City Hall and PNC Bank building, a former gas station and dry cleaner on Governor’s Avenue, and former auto repair shops on Railroad Avenue and Forest Street.

But Bradbury notes the official work plan for the grant is not yet finalized. She adds there are opportunities in state and federal government to apply for more grants to carry out remediation.

Rachel Sawicki was born and raised in Camden, Delaware and attended the Caesar Rodney School District. They graduated from the University of Delaware in 2021 with a double degree in Communications and English and as a leader in the Student Television Network, WVUD and The Review.