The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently announced that three Illinois communities will be receiving grants to cleanup contaminated properties and boost local economies by redeveloping former brownfield sites. A brownfield site is a piece of property that is contaminated by a hazardous substance or other pollutant that complicates the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of that property. EPA announced the following specific grants:
$200,000 to the City of Ottawa to work on high-priority brownfield sites in the downtown area along 21 aces of riverfront property. The funds will be used to conduct ten Phase I and at least four Phase II environmental site assessments. The funds will also be used to prioritize Brownfield sites, prepare cleanup plans, and conduct community outreach activities.
$400,000 to the City of Rochelle to conduct environmental assessments of Brownfield sites and to develop an inventory that will be used to prioritize sites for cleanup based on future redevelopment potential.
Two brownfield grants totaling $400,000 to the City of South Beloit to cleanup the former Primecast Inc. property and two former gas station sites.
Implications of the Grants
EPA’s grants of $1 million for brownfield sites in Illinois will help transform these contaminated sites into redevelopment opportunities and will hopefully positively impact these local economies and the quality of life for neighboring communities. These grants were made pursuant to the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act, which was signed into law in January 2002.