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Biden-Harris administration announces more than $4.6M for cleanup, technical assistance at polluted brownfield sites in Ohio

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Press Release

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently announced more than $4.6 million from President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda to expedite the assessment and cleanup of brownfield sites in Ohio while advancing environmental justice.

EPA selected eight communities in Ohio to receive eight grants totaling more than $4.6 million in competitive EPA Brownfields funding through the Multipurpose, Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup (MARC) Grant programs. Thanks to the historic boost from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, this is the largest-ever funding awarded in the history of the EPA’s Brownfields MARC Grant programs.

These investments are part of President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda to grow the American economy from the bottom up and middle-out – from rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure, to driving over $470 billion in private sector manufacturing and clean energy investments in the United States, to creating a manufacturing and innovation boom powered by good paying jobs that don’t require a four-year degree, to building a clean-energy economy that will combat climate change and make communities more resilient.

“We’re working across the country to revitalize what were once dangerous and polluted sites in overburdened communities into more sustainable and environmentally just places that serve as community assets. Thanks to President Biden’s historic investments in America, we’re moving further and faster than ever before to clean up contaminated sites, spur economic redevelopment and deliver relief that so many communities have been waiting for,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “This critical wave of investments is the largest in brownfields history and will accelerate our work to protect the people and the planet by transforming what was once blight into might.”

“Given the Midwest’s rich industrial history, it’s no surprise that Ohio has a significant portion of EPA’s funded brownfields sites,” said EPA Region 5 Administrator Debra Shore. “Thanks to the historic brownfields investment announced today, more communities will get the financial help they need to transform abandoned, blighted properties into assets that attract business and community development.”  

“By investing in and redeveloping these brownfield sites, we create new opportunities for growth for communities across Ohio,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown. “Thanks in part to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, this investment will support revitalization efforts critical to the safety and economic success of these communities.”

“I am proud to join the EPA in announcing $1 million in new federal grants coming to OH-11 as a result of increased funding provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The grants will help advance environmental justice in our community, spurring further assessment, cleanup and redevelopment in the cities of Cleveland and East Cleveland, sharing equally in the announced funding. I look forward to continued partnership with the EPA and the Biden-Harris Administration to build more clean, safe, and healthy communities in Northeast Ohio,” said Rep. Shontel Brown.•

“This $500,000 award from the EPA will help ready the Lunkenheimer site for future development,” said Rep. Greg Landsman. “We’re excited to work with our federal partners, the City of Cincinnati and the Port to catalyze new economic development that will bring good-paying jobs to South Fairmount.”

Many communities that are under economic stress, particularly those located in areas that have experienced long periods of disinvestment, lack the resources needed to initiate brownfield cleanup and redevelopment projects. As brownfield sites are transformed into community assets, they attract jobs, promote economic revitalization, and transform communities into sustainable and environmentally just places.

Thanks to the historic $1.5 billion boost from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, EPA’s Brownfields Program is helping more communities than ever before begin to address the economic, social and environmental challenges caused by brownfields and stimulate economic opportunity and environmental revitalization in historically overburdened communities.

EPA’s Brownfields Program also advances President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative to direct 40 percent of the overall benefits of certain Federal investments to disadvantaged communities. The Brownfields Program strives to meet this commitment and advance environmental justice and equity considerations into all aspects of its work. Approximately 84 percent of the MARC program applications selected to receive funding proposed to work in areas that include historically underserved communities.

The following entities in Ohio have been selected to receive EPA Brownfields funding through the Multipurpose, Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup (MARC) Grant Program.

• City of Cincinnati will receive a $500,000 community-wide grant to conduct 12 Phase I and eight Phase II environmental site assessments. Funds also will be used to prepare four cleanup plans and to develop and maintain a GIS-based brownfield site inventory. Cincinnati is targeting the Beekman Avenue and Spring Grove Avenue Corridors. Priority sites a vacant 154,000-square-foot foundry and valve manufacturing building built in 1908; a five-acre site used to dump foundry sand since the 1970s; and two former manufacturing facilities with multiple vacant buildings.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled by the EPA’s support of Cincinnati through the Brownfields Program. This grant empowers us to clean up and bring new life to areas that for too long have been concentrated with industrial pollution. With community-wide assessments and revitalization planning, we are advancing on our environmental justice goals, the commitments made in our Green Cincinnati Plan, and our overall mission to secure Cincinnati’s climate future,” said Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval.

• City of Cleveland will receive a $500,000 community-wide grant to conduct 16 Phase I and nine Phase II environmental site assessments. Funds will also support community outreach and meetings, an inventory of brownfield sites, five remedial action plans and five reuse plans. Cleveland is targeting the East 93rd Street Corridor. Priority sites include the Urban Agricultural Zone Brightfield site and the Former National Bronze and Aluminum Foundry Company site.

"We are extremely grateful to be receiving this grant from the U.S. EPA," said Cleveland Mayor Justin M. Bibb. "The funds will be used for environmental assessments, community engagement, and planning efforts to encourage development in the East 93rd corridor – one of our many efforts aimed at investing in neighborhoods that have long been neglected."

• Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization Corp. will receive a $500,000 grant to clean up the Euclid-Woodlawn Redevelopment site at 1810 Woodlawn Ave. and 12500 and 12524 Euclid Ave. in the City of East Cleveland. The site, contaminated with trichloroethylene, formerly housed commercial printing operations, a dry cleaner, an auto repair garage, a gas station and an auto sales business.

“This funding will enable the Cuyahoga Land Bank to redevelop a brownfields site at the gateway to a 30-acre $122 million redevelopment project in the City of East Cleveland,” said Gus Frangos, President and General Counsel of the Cuyahoga Land Bank. “The planned reuse of the project site is the construction of an approx. 60-unit apartment building, bringing much needed new housing and tax revenue to the city. This cleanup project will not only remove direct environmental threats to residents but will also help reverse the environmental conditions disproportionately affecting the majority African American population of East Cleveland.”

• Jefferson County Port Authority will receive a $500,000 community-wide grant to conduct 12 Phase I and eight Phase II environmental site assessments. Funds will also be used to inventory sites, develop two reuse plans and support community outreach activities. The target areas for this grant are the City of Steubenville, the Town of Mingo Junction, the Villages of Yorkville, Tiltonsville and Rayland, and the Pottery Addition community. Priority sites include a 230-acre former steel manufacturing yard, a 10-acre former nut and washer manufacturer and a vacant trucking facility that fell into disrepair.

“The Jefferson County Port Authority is humbled and honored to receive a $500,000 community-wide brownfield assessment grant from the U.S. EPA,” said Executive Director Robert Naylor. “Decades of job losses in the steel and coal dominated economy of Jefferson County have left communities with blighted properties, aging infrastructure, and population loss. This funding will be integral to assess and redevelop brownfield sites, catalyze sustainable economic growth and job creation, and improve the quality of life for our citizens.”

• City of Lima will receive a $500,000 community-wide grant to conduct 18 Phase I and nine Phase II environmental site assessments. Funds will also be used to inventory sites, develop four cleanup plans, two reuse assessments, a brownfields revitalization plan, and support community outreach activities. Lima is targeting a former asbestos roofing and sheet metal company and a former dry cleaner.

 “The US EPA Citywide Brownfield Assessment grant is a catalyst for development and growth in our community,” said Lima Mayor Sharetta Smith. “EPA funded assessments will increase the value of blighted properties and put our community in a better position to pursue developers so we can repurpose these assets.”

• Muskingum County Planning Commission will receive a $400,000 community wide grant to conduct 11 Phase I and six Phase II environmental site assessments. Funds will also be used to inventory and prioritize sites, develop five cleanup plans, and support community outreach activities. The county is targeting the City of Zanesville where priority sites include former gas stations, an auto body shop, a car dealership, a long-vacant train station and a former dry cleaner.

“Muskingum County is elated to once again be the recipient of a USEPA Brownfield Assessment Grant. With our last round of funding, we were able to study, prioritize and leverage these funds into an additional $2.85M of State of Ohio Brownfield and Site Demolition funds to remediate two of the largest blights within our community (Former Munson Elementary and the former Mosaic Tile Manufacturing Facility),” said Andy Roberts, executive director of Muskingum County Land Reutilization Corp. “To add to this success the Muskingum County Land Reutilization Corp, who oversaw the cleanup of these sites, has a deal struck with Woda Cooper Companies to have 44 units of workforce housing built on the former Munson School property (with assistance from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency and Ohio Department of Development), not only removing blight, but creating much needed affordable housing within our community. We extend our most honored thanks to the USEPA for assisting us achieve our vision to rehabilitate our community and look forward to working alongside them for decades to come.”

• Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority (doing business as the Port) will has receive $797,437 grant to conduct 12 Phase I and seven Phase II environmental site assessments and to develop a plan for community involvement and outreach. The Port will use the funds to clean up the former Reliable Castings site at 3530 Spring Grove Rd., in Cincinnati, and to target the Mill Creek Corridor along I-75 in Hamilton County. This area has many abandoned manufacturing facilities, abandoned properties, and neighborhoods in decay. The Mill Creek watershed is designated as the most endangered urban river in North America.

"Cincinnati’s prominence as a Midwest manufacturing hub has lost its luster since the 1960s due to suburbanization and offshoring,” said Laura N. Brunner, President and CEO of The Port. “Travel along I-75, the Mill Creek Corridor brownfield target area, and you'll find a “path of decay" where there were once tens of thousands of high-paying jobs. This multipurpose grant from the U.S. EPA is critical to help us remediate these industrial sites and get them pad ready for future investment.”

• Trumbull County Land Reutilization Corp. will receive a $918,685 grant to clean up the former Diversified Resources Site at 400 Refractory Rd., in Warren. This 28-acre site once used for heavy industry and manufacturing operations, is now contaminated with solvents, petroleum and inorganic compounds. The cleanup will require removing about 3,400 drums, 200 super sacks, 9,000 tons of waste and 11 empty storage tanks. The grant will also support community engagement activities.

"The Trumbull County Land Reutilization Corporation is pleased to be awarded a US EPA Brownfield Cleanup grant for the former Diversified Resources site in Champion Township,” said Sam Lamancusa, Trumbull County Land Reutilization Corporation Board President and Trumbull County Treasurer. “The 29-acre site is in need of remediation in order to remove hazardous waste and materials from the site and protect the residents, business, and natural resources in this area. The future of this site holds great potential for development that will benefit Champion Township and the surrounding communities."

EPA’s Brownfields Program began in 1995 and has provided nearly $2.37 billion in Brownfield Grants to assess and clean up contaminated properties and return blighted properties to productive reuse. EPA’s investments in addressing brownfield sites have leveraged more than $36 billion in cleanup and redevelopment. Over the years, the relatively small investment of federal funding has leveraged, from both public and private sources, nearly 260,000 jobs. Communities that previously received Brownfields Grants used these resources to fund assessments and cleanups of brownfields, and successfully leverage an average of 10.6 jobs per $100,000 of EPA Brownfield Grant funds spent and $19.78 for every dollar.

For more on EPA’s Brownfields Program: