DANVILLE — The Vermilion County Health Department will hold two public meetings on the Vermilion County brownfields assessment project this month and additional meetings may follow in July.
The first public meeting will be from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. June 22 at Hoopeston City Hall, 301 West Main St., Hoopeston, and the second will be from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. June 29 at the Georgetown City Hall, 208 South Walnut St., Georgetown.
Representatives from the Vermilion County Health Department and Foth Infrastructure and Environment of Champaign will give a short presentation on the brownfields project in Vermilion County. The representatives will answer questions about the project and hope to obtain information from area residents about environmentally contaminated sites in the county.
"We hope that area residents will be able to let us know about sites that may be contaminated," Public Health Administrator Shirley Hicks said in the news release. "We are counting on these meetings to help us get as complete a listing as possible about that type of site."
The goal of EPA's brownfield revitalization program is to assess, clean up and reuse brownfields — vacant or under used properties such as old factories, gas stations, dry-cleaning businesses or buildings with asbestos insulation or lead-based paint, that contain or potentially contain hazardous substances or contaminants.
Vermilion County was awarded a $400,000 grant by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last year to locate and assess environmentally contaminated sites in the county.
Some of those sites will be tested to determine the extent of the contamination, according to Douglas Toole, the director of environmental health for the health department and manager for the project. After that, additional cleanup grants may be sought so that the sites can be returned to productive use again.
Danville was recently awarded an identical $400,000 grant to assess sites within the city limits.
For information, call Toole at 431-2662, ext. 243.