- Associated Press - Sunday, June 7, 2015

HERNANDO, Miss. (AP) - Hernando has signed up for a state “brownfields” program to entice private-sector developers to clean up and reuse contaminated sites.

The Commercial Appeal reports (http://bit.ly/1FCTWQe ) the announcement follows the aldermen’s vote to designate two former Reliable Equipment parcels along U.S. 51 as eligible for the state’s Redevelopment Act.

Mayor Chip Johnson and other city leaders say it’s the next step in a process to return contaminated, inactive properties to job and revenue producers.

The old garage parcels were found tainted by EarthCon consultants acting under a $400,000 brownfields assessment grant to the city from the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

Johnson says a total of 26 properties were assessed and three showed contamination including, Reliable Equipment. Cleanup costs of petroleum-based pollution are estimated at $70,000 to $80,000 by EarthCon.

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