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Partnership will increase funding awareness and support access for Kentucky brownfields

Partnership will increase funding awareness and support access for Kentucky brownfields

Partnership will increase funding awareness and support access for Kentucky brownfields

Brownfields are abandoned or underused properties where contamination may hinder redevelopment, expansion or reuse.


Many Kentucky communities, especially in rural areas, have abandoned or underused properties because contamination could hamper their expansion, reuse or redevelopment. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency calls these properties brownfields and estimates more than 45,000 exist in the United States. A new partnership between the University of Kentucky Community and Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky and the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet’s Department for Environmental Protection aims to raise awareness of available funding and assist communities redevelop brownfield sites.

“The Department for Environmental Protection is excited about this partnership and the possibilities it holds for Kentucky’s communities, especially those that face resource and capacity challenges,” said Amanda LeFevre, Department for Environmental Protection deputy commissioner. “We hope that this education, guidance and support can better help communities reimagine and revitalize their brownfield properties to fit the needs of their citizens.”

The partnership will support CEDIK’s Downtown Revitalization Program.

“This new partnership will provide expanded access to support, technical assistance and redevelopment coaching that underserved communities have long requested in their pursuits of redeveloping brownfield sites,” said Shane Barton, program coordinator.

Cleaning up and reinvesting in brownfield properties increases local tax bases, facilitates job growth, uses existing infrastructure, takes development pressures off undeveloped, open land and improves and protects the environment.

The Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection recruited CEDIK because of its successful downtown revitalization efforts since the 2017 CEDIK Downtown Revitalization Program launch. In that time, CEDIK actively engaged underserved downtowns throughout Southeast Kentucky helping local teams address the unique challenges they face by engaging local leaders, sharing ideas and assisting with creative, locally driven solutions to historic challenges.

Barton said nearly every community has at least one building, however large or small, that presents a real redevelopment challenge. Many Kentucky communities are burdened with underused or abandoned structures, and transitioning these spaces requires additional investment, planning and creative solutions centered around community needs and aspirations.

Throughout the five-year project, CEDIK will provide training and support for existing community planning, redevelopment tools and work to increase awareness about the brownfield program, available technical assistance and funding opportunities. Additionally, CEDIK will provide intensive coaching and support to a cohort of traditionally underserved areas through the Downtown Revitalization Program’s new Brownfield Community Assistance Partnership.

CEDIK is part of the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. For more information, visit the website at

Community Development

Contact Information

Scovell Hall Lexington, KY 40546-0064