Germantown/Shelby Park Rail Corridor Area Wide Plan: Frequently Asked Questions

What are Brownfields?

A brownfield is a vacant or underutilized site where the threat of contamination has made redevelopment more complex. Brownfields come in all shapes and sizes. Common examples include abandoned manufacturing facilities, gas stations, and dry cleaners.

What is the EPA Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Program?

The Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Program is designed to help communities confront local environmental and public health challenges related to brownfields, and benefit underserved or economically disadvantaged communities.  Area-wide planning for brownfields encourages community-based involvement in site assessment, cleanup and reuse planning, as well as overall neighborhood revitalization.  Through a brownfields area-wide planning approach, the community identifies a specific project area that is affected by a single large or multiple brownfields, then works with residents and other stakeholders to develop reuse plans for catalyst, high priority brownfield sites and their surrounding area.  These reuse plans then inform the assessment and cleanup of brownfield sites.

As the brownfields area-wide plans are implemented by the communities, and properties within the area affected by brownfields are cleaned up and reused, EPA expects there will be positive environmental outcomes related to public health, air and water quality, such as reduced exposure to contaminants, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollutants, reduced stormwater runoff, and substantial reductions in pollutant loadings in local waterways.  EPA expects these types of environmental outcomes at brownfields and other infill properties that accommodate the growth and development that would otherwise have occurred on undeveloped, greenfield properties.

What will this Area-Wide Plan include?

Louisville Metro Jefferson County through its Department of Economic Growth and Innovation (“EGI”) will use the grant to fund an area wide plan for the Germantown/Shelby Park Rail Corridor (“Corridor”).  The Corridor, once home to vibrant manufacturing, particularly Louisville’s historic woolen mill industry, as well as commercial and residential areas, now struggles economically. Many parcels within this mixed use Corridor could be considered brownfields due to multiple current and legacy industrial uses, the presence of the railroad through its heart, and a history of residential, commercial and industrial disinvestment.  The area wide planning effort will include community education and outreach, a site inventory and an overview of potential health risks associated with known environmental contamination. Developing a community wide plan will result in identification of catalyst sites, desirable types of redevelopment, implementation strategies for redevelopment, and the development of plans for connectivity between the surrounding neighborhoods.

What are the boundaries of the Germantown/Shelby Park Rail Corridor Study Area?

See the study area map.

What are the five catalyst sites selected as focal points in this project?

Site A: 946 Goss Avenue, formerly the Louisville Cotton Mills.
Site B: 535 Meriwether Avenue/1400 S. Hancock St. former rail facility.
Site C: 1034 East Oak and 1124 Reutlinger Avenue, formerly Bradford Mills.
Site D: 1415 and 1416 S. Clay Street, Louisville Metro Government waste transfer and recycling facility.
Site E: 942 East Kentucky Street, formerly The Hope Worsted Mills and Co. and Bluebird Pie Factory. Also formerly home to Allied Coatings.

Who do I contact with questions?

Center for Environmental Policy and Management
University of Louisville, 119 Lutz Hall
Louisville, KY  40292

Theresa Zawacki
Executive Administrator for Brownfields and Local Food Initiatives
and April Jones
Department of Economic Growth and Innovation
444 S. Fifth St. 6th Fl.
Louisville, KY 40202