Building Trust in Arkansas
- 2001 to 2006 -
The City of Plainview, Arkansas, had few options when its largest employer—the Mountain Pine Pressure Treating plant—was shut down, designated a federal Superfund site, and abandoned by its owner.
The rural, economically distressed community, with a population of 600 and dwindling, faced apparent economic disaster. The Sierra Club called the 95-acre Superfund Site in the city center a “wasteland” and “a serious threat to the health of the community and the neighboring creek and wetlands.”
The City of Plainview selected Greenfield to lead the cleanup and reuse of the bankrupt Mountain Pine Pressure Treating Federal Superfund Site. Greenfield helped Plainview reinvent itself, by serving as the City’s Superfund redevelopment expert and later its technical adviser.
We worked with a host of federal and state agencies and leaders to secure title to the abandoned Site for the City. Collaborating closely with the community and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), we ensured that scarce EPA resources were dedicated to site cleanup.
Greenfield also assembled funding for site redevelopment and identified an end-user that brought badly needed jobs and tax revenues into the City. In a ceremony attended by a U.S. senator from Arkansas, the Plainview mayor awarded Greenfield the key to the City for our work in the community.
Arkansas Trust by the Numbers
$1 million - Procured in grants, other funds for Superfund Site reuse
Phoenix Award - National winner for Superfund Site management and reuse
Key to City - Received from the mayor and city council of Plainview, Arkansas
95 Acres - Secured title to abandoned federal Superfund Site for Plainview, Arkansas
Securing Public Funds to Catalyze Cleanup and Economic Development
Public funds were essential to Site remediation and redevelopment.
With Greenfield’s help, Plainview secured an EPA technical assistance grant to support community involvement in cleanup activities and a $1 million grant—from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration, the Arkansas Department of Economic Development, and the West Central Arkansas Planning and Development District—to help attract private sector investment.
Building Trust and Ensuring Success Through Stakeholder Alignment
In its pursuit of scarce Superfund dollars, the City of Plainview faced stiff competition from larger cities. Greenfield reached out to local, regional, state, and national interests to ensure that this unwanted, abandoned Site in a tiny, rural community stayed on the front burner.
Collaborating with state economic development agencies, and enlisting the help of a U.S. senator from Arkansas, we secured much-needed funds from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to build a general purpose industrial facility. By leveraging this public capital, Greenfield identified the end user and use of the Site—a strategy that defined the Site cleanup plan and launched its successful redevelopment. The building generated rental income to pay for sorely needed municipal services.
We received our second national Phoenix Award for Superfund Site management and reuse for our work in Plainview.
Laying the Foundation for a Prosperous Future in Plainview: How Greenfield Environmental Trust Group Helped a Small Arkansas City Advance from Superfund Site to Land of Opportunity