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News Releases from Region 05

EPA Announces More Than $2 Million in Brownfield Grants to Help Illinois Communities Assess and Clean Up Contaminated Properties and Promote Economic Redevelopment

Brownfields Program helps return blighted properties to productive reuse

Contact Information: 
Rachel Bassler (

CHICAGO (April 25, 2018) – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has selected three communities in Illinois for Brownfields environmental Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup grants. The grants totaling $2.15 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 Illinois,” 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 three grantees are:

  • Chicago Southwest Development Corporation, Chicago: The grantee will receive $200,000 to clean up the Focal Point site at 2875 West 19th Street. After cleanup of the 32-acre site, CSDC will begin a mixed-use redevelopment that will include health care providers, affordable housing, recreation facilities, and retail outlets.
  • Cook County Department of Environment and Sustainability: Cook County will receive $600,000 to investigate environmental conditions at abandoned properties in underserved communities of Chicago Heights, Ford Heights, and Sauk Village. The county’s goal is to promote redevelopment that fosters livable, vibrant communities that are safe, healthy, and amenity-rich. Cook County will also receive a $750,000 grant to provide loans for additional cleanups.  
  • Prairie Hills Resource Conservation and Development Inc.: Residents of West-Central Illinois will benefit from the environmental investigation of abandoned properties conducted by the Prairie Hills Resource, Conservation and Development Corporation. Prairie Hills will receive a $600,000 award to support brownfield work across the organization’s six county service area which includes the cities of Galesburg, Macomb, and Canton.

“I am grateful that Cook County is the recipient of both a $600,000 grant that will allow us to assess brownfield sites in a coalition of South Cook County municipalities, and a $751,000 Brownfield Revolving Loan Fund grant will provide resources to redevelop and reuse brownfield sites. Overall, the funding presents us with a great opportunity to improve the environment as well as encourage economic development and create jobs. The work that these grants will fund builds on our partnerships with local communities and local leaders and continues Cook County’s work to position these south and west suburban areas for growth,” Toni Preckwinkle, President, Cook County Board of Commissioners.

“Sites like the former Haeger Pottery Plant in Macomb, Ill., that had been in operation for 122 years, are potential Brownfield sites,” said Prairie Hills Executive Director David King. “Many rural communities in Prairie Hill’s region of west central Illinois will greatly benefit from this U.S. EPA grant.”

List of the FY 2018 Applicants Selected for Funding:

For more information on the ARC grants:

For more information on EPA’s Brownfields program:

For more information on how Brownfields restoration has positively impacted local economies and the quality of life for neighboring communities: