EPA awards brownfields grants to Ohio communities

CHICAGO – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded four brownfields grants to Ohio communities: Columbus, Lockland, Mansfield and a joint grant to Cleveland and Lima. The grants total $2.8 million.

Brownfields are abandoned or underutilized properties where real or perceived environmental contamination has slowed redevelopment. Grants may be awarded to address individual sites, or groups of sites, within a defined geographic area.

Three grant categories were included in the announcement: new pilot grants, supplemental pilot funding to continue ongoing work at sites that have already received grants, and revolving loan fund grants, which make low-cost loans available to communities to assist in moving their initiatives forward.

$38 milllion in funding.

Nationally, more than 90 communities received funding of more than $38 million for brownfields assessment and cleanup. In the EPA Region 5 states (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin) 19 grants were awarded. Summaries of the grants will be online soon at www.epa.gov/brownfields.

Columbus and Lockland received $150,000 supplemental funding grants. Columbus will use its grant for eight additional site assessments, with significant activity targeted for a previously designated state empowerment zone and federal enterprise community. Lockland will use its grant for additional technical analysis at three sites examined under the original grant, plus a first-time assessment of a recently-closed roofing products manufacturer.

Mansfield received a $1 million revolving loan fund grant, which it will use to evaluate an 8-acre former chrome plating operation and a former pump manufacturer with a 50,000 square-foot building.

Redevelopment.

A $1.5 million revolving loan fund grant shared by Cleveland and Lima will be managed by the Ohio Department of Development. Cleveland has targeted the Forgotten Triangle and MidTown areas for redevelopment. Lima will focus on further development of the Liberty Commons Industrial Park, as well as on the Flanders/McKibbey Railyard, to permit expansion of Buckeye Rubber, a major employer in the city.

Since 1993, EPA has provided over $162 million in brownfields grants with $2.9 billion leveraged and over 11,000 jobs created. U.S. EPA and Illinois EPA are among more than a dozen organizations co-sponsoring Brownfields 2001, a national conference at Chicago’s McCormick Place Convention Center, Sept. 24-26.

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