Muskingum County, the city of Zanesville and the Zanesville-Muskingum County Port Authority are joining forces to create the Zanesville-Muskingum County Brownfields Assessment Coalition.
On Monday, Zanesville City Council passed an ordinance that will enable the coalition to apply for up to a million dollars worth of grant money from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) , so long as the coalition assesses at least five brownfield sites. Director of Community Development, Stacy Clapper, says there are two different types of assessments.
"There's phase one assessment which is a historical study of a property and it tells us what activities have occurred there and it helps us to understand if there's potential for hazardous materials," Clapper explained. "The phase two assessment is an actual physical assessment where they go on site and they'll test water, soil, paint, those types of things to actually identify exactly what type of contamination exists."
Clapper says while the number of brownfields in Muskingum County is unclear, she says creating the coalition will increase the chances of securing grant money, which will be used for identifying and assessing brownfield sites
"We don't have an exact inventory but certainly, there are many. What we're doing is looking at those and when we're looking at sites, one of the things we think about is what sites where there's social injustice , where there's health concerns, or where we might see economic return in the future."
City council will meet again in two weeks.