New Smyrna Beach
In 2008, ESI co-authored two (2) $200K EPA Region IV Brownfield Assessment Grant Applications for New Smyrna Beach along with a Not-for-Profit Teaming firm. Subsequently, EPA selected the City of New Smyrna Beach for both assessment grants. Community-wide hazardous substances and petroleum grant funds will be used to conduct 10 Phase I and 5 Phase II environmental site assessments. Grant funds also will be used to conduct cleanup planning and support community outreach activities.
First settled in 1768, New Smyrna Beach (population 23,161) is one of the oldest European-settled communities in Florida. In 1892, the arrival of the Florida East Coast Railway enhanced the area's economy, which was based on the tourism, citrus, and commercial fishing industries. New Smyrna Beach became an ideal retirement community and a bustling tourist destination. Recent financial declines, however, have affected the city's economy.
The number of tourists has decreased, businesses have closed, and every corridor in the city has potential Brownfields that blight New Smyrna Beach's natural beauty. Many of these sites are located near residential retirement communities or adjacent to the city's waterways and beaches. The city's retired and elderly residents are more susceptible to environmental impacts from Brownfield sites. Brownfield assessments are the first step in identifying and reducing threats to human health and the environment, and will help the city develop appropriate cleanup and reuse plans.