Project partners look toward assessment of land for redevelopment

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Local partners are looking at how to distribute a large grant to assess land called brownfields for redevelopment on the island.

Brownfields are parcels of land that may have been used as commercial or industrial sites in the past and may have been contaminated from hazardous waste or petroleum. On the island, that might mean properties that were formerly used as military sites or cannery locations.

Last year, Kodiak won $600,000 in funds from the United States Environmental Protection Agency to conduct the assessments.

The consulting company Stantec works with communities to apply the grants when awarded.

Environmental services principal Chris Gdak flew into Kodiak last week to speak with the Brownfield Advisory Committee, which will select the properties.

He said it’s rare for a community to secure full funding through the EPA, and they’ll do both physical tests and research to detect contamination.

“We gather historic information on properties through old maps and city directors to find out what historic uses are. We go through the DEC databases and the EPA databases that are known to be impacted and suspected to be impacted.”

Part of the Brownfield Advisory Committee’s task is to compile a list of properties and narrow it down from there. Anyone can submit a plot of land, whether they own it or not.

The Kodiak Island Borough, City of Kodiak, and Natives of Kodiak are partners on the project, which will continue until September 2020.

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