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Camden, South Carolina has historically been dependent on industries and petroleum-related businesses that have resulted in many brownfield and blighted sites located along commercial and residential development corridors. These sites are priority targets for redevelopment.

They include commercial properties, dry cleaning facilities, landfills, maintenance facilities, small manufacturing plants, and gas stations. Redeveloping these sites was deemed crucial to improving the city’s economic vitality.

The EPA describes a brownfield site as a property for which the expansion, redevelopment or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant. There are estimated to be more than 450,000 brownfields in the U.S.


The Retail Coach introduced Camden to the idea of applying for EPA Brownfields funding through the Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup (MAC) Grant Programs.

The Retail Coach then met with Cardno, an infrastructure and environmental development company with a history of helping communities with grant applications, to convince them to take on the Camden application.


This, according to the EPA, “will help transform contaminated sites into community assets that not only create jobs and jumpstart economic development but also improve public health and the environment.”

The EPA states the funds will aid under-served and economically disadvantaged communities in Opportunity Zones and other parts of the country in assessing and cleaning up abandoned industrial and commercial properties.

The Retail Coach continues to keep their finger on the pulse of what drives economic development and makes the necessary connections to empower clients to make a difference in their communities.

“Coupled with Camden’s position as designated Opportunity Zone, making brownfield sites available for redevelopment in areas with existing infrastructure will help us continue to strengthen Camden’s economic competitiveness. Our goal is attract investment and redevelopment that will transform these sites into community assets that not only enhance our economic development potential and create jobs, but also improve public health and the environment.”

Mel Pearson - Camden City Manager


Camden, South Carolina

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