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EPA Announces $2.9 Million in Brownfield Grants to Help Wisconsin Communities Assess and Clean Up Contaminated Properties and Promote Economic Redevelopment

Brownfields Program helps return blighted properties to productive reuse

04/25/2018
Contact Information: 
Rachel Bassler (bassler.rachel@epa.gov)
312-886-7159

CHICAGO (April 25, 2018) – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has selected seven communities in Wisconsin for Brownfields environmental Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup grants. The grants totaling $2.9 million will provide communities with funding to assess, clean up and redevelop underutilized properties while protecting public health and the environment.

“EPA’s Brownfields Program expands the ability of communities to recycle vacant and abandoned properties for new, productive reuses, using existing infrastructure," said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. "These grants leverage other public and private investments, and improve local economies through property cleanup and redevelopment.”

“Clearly there is no shortage of creativity, innovation and ingenuity when it comes to brownfields redevelopment projects in the great State of Wisconsin,” said EPA Region 5 Administrator Cathy Stepp. “EPA looks forward to expanding our work with our partners to redevelop brownfields so they can once again be thriving parts of their communities – spurring local economies with jobs and new businesses as well as generating tax revenues and spending.”

The seven grantees are:

  • Bay-Lake Regional Planning Commission: The commission will receive a $300,000 Brownfield grant to investigate industrial sites that have closed or face foreclosure along the shorelines of Lake Michigan and its tributaries. Residents of eight counties in Northeast Wisconsin and the Oneida Tribal Nation will benefit from economic redevelopment.
     
  • Manitowoc Community Development Authority: The Authority will receive an additional $200,000 to continue the environmental review and cleanup of the former Mirro Plant 9. The Authority will complete the necessary investigations, develop a cleanup plan, and fund community involvement activities.
     
  • Manitowoc: The city will receive a $300,000 Brownfield grant to investigate properties in the heavily industrialized areas along the Manitowoc River and Lake Michigan. The city is focused on environmental justice for the residents of these neighborhoods. This award is the latest in a series of grants that used the previous funding to support projects that created nearly 100 jobs and generated $9.5 million in private investment.
     
  • Racine: The city will receive a $300,000 Brownfield grant to investigate properties in the RootWorks and Uptown areas that may have environmental contamination. The city has previously received $3.9 million in Brownfields grants for redevelopment, including the cleanup of the Harborside site and parts of the former Racine Steel plant. 
     
  • Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee: Residents of Milwaukee will benefit from three Brownfield grants being awarded to RACM.  The city will use $500,000 to evaluate possible contamination at properties, including the former Wisconsin Die Cast facility in the Bay View neighborhood. Remediation of properties in the Century City and North Division Campus redevelopment areas will also be funded by a $400,000 Brownfield cleanup grant.
     
  • Stevens Point: EPA is awarding a $300,000 Brownfield grant to the city to redevelop downtown properties, including an old mall and to preserve open spaces in recently developed areas.
     
  • Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources: WDNR and seven regional planning commission partners will receive a $600,000 Brownfield grant. The Wisconsin Brownfield Coalition will conduct environmental investigations in rural or distressed communities that lack the resources to undertake redevelopment projects on their own. The coalition will target closed and closing manufacturing facilities to assess potential environmental contamination that could complicate reuse of the properties.

“The Bay-Lake Regional Planning Commission is grateful to be awarded these much needed funds from the EPA. Through collaborative community partnerships, this grant will help us assess the many brownfield sites throughout our region, plan for their remediation, and begin moving those sites towards recovery and reuse,” said Cindy Wojtczak, Executive Director, Bay-Lake Regional Planning Commission, Green Bay, WI.

“The City of Racine and its Redevelopment Authority look forward to continuing our partnership with EPA and the WDNR to achieve the shared goals of improving economic and environmental conditions and building a sustainable future for the City of Racine residents,” said Racine Mayor Cory Mason. “Site Assessment grants helps Racine’s Brownfield Team identify, study, and prepare brownfield sites for cleanup, an imperative for a city that is competing with greenfield development and has tremendous growth potential due to Foxconn-related investments.”

“Reinvesting in Wisconsin helps clean up contaminated properties across the state, putting them back into productive use,” said Pat Stevens, Assistant Deputy Secretary for the Wisconsin DNR. “This will create jobs, strengthen our communities and provide for a better environment.”  

List of the FY 2018 Applicants Selected for Funding: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/applicants-selected-fy18-brownfields-assessment-revolving-loan-fund-and-cleanup-grants

For more information on the ARC grants: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/types-brownfields-grant-funding

For more information on EPA’s Brownfields program: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields

For more information on how Brownfields restoration has positively impacted local economies and the quality of life for neighboring communities: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/brownfields-success-stories

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