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EPA Brownfields Funding Announced for Danville, Dixon, Rockford and Green Era Educational NFP in Chicago

05/31/2017
Contact Information: 
Joshua Singer (Singer.joshua@epa.gov)
312-353-5069

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 31, 2017

EPA Brownfields Funding Announced for Danville, Dixon, Rockford and Green Era Educational NFP in Chicago

CHICAGO – Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency selected 172 communities and organizations across the country, including the Illinois communities of Danville, Dixon, and Rockford, and the Green Era Educational NFP in Chicago, to receive funding for brownfields site revitalization to help local governments redevelop vacant and unused properties, transforming communities and local economies.

“EPA is committed to working with communities to redevelop Brownfields sites which have plagued their neighborhoods. EPA’s Assessment and Cleanup grants target communities that are economically disadvantaged and include places where environmental cleanup and new jobs are most needed," said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. "These grants leverage considerable infrastructure and other investments, improving local economies and creating an environment where jobs can grow. I am very pleased the President’s budget recognizes the importance of these grants by providing continued funding for this important program.”

The following communities and organizations in Illinois were selected to receive funding:

  • The city of Dixon was selected to receive a $300,000 Brownfields Assessment Grant to investigate environmental conditions at properties with redevelopment potential in the Riverfront, Downtown and Old Illinois Central Railroad corridors.
  • The city of Danville was selected to receive a $300,000 Brownfields Assessment Grant to continue its redevelopment efforts in the East Main Street and Fairchild corridors and nearby residential neighborhoods.  Previous EPA brownfields assistance funded numerous investigations and redevelopment projects in the Downtown and Vermilion Street corridors, leading to the creation of jobs and businesses in the community.  
  • The Green Era Educational NFP in Chicago was selected to receive $600,000 of brownfields cleanup grants to excavate and dispose of contaminated soil from properties along West 83rd Street in the Gresham neighborhood.  Green Era will also construct an anaerobic digester on the site that will transform food waste into a renewable source of energy and generate nutrient-rich soil for local urban agriculture.
  • The city of Rockford was selected to receive a $175,000 brownfields cleanup grant to remove asbestos and lead-based paint from the building at 134 Main St., the original Rockford Walgreens.  Previous EPA brownfields grants have resulted in the investigation and cleanup of dozens of Rockford properties and contributed to substantial investment in the city, including a $24 million indoor recreation center.

Studies have shown that residential property values near brownfields sites that are cleaned up increased between 5 and 15 percent and can increase property values within a 1.24-mile radius of that site. A study analyzing data near 48 brownfield sites shows an estimated $29 million to $97 million in additional tax revenue was generated for local governments in a single year after cleanup. This is two to seven times more than the $12.4 million EPA contributed to those brownfields.

As of May 2017, more than 124,759 jobs and $24 billion of public and private funding have been leveraged as a result of assessment grants and other EPA brownfields grants. On average, $16.11 was leveraged for each EPA brownfields dollar and 8.5 jobs leveraged per $100,000 of EPA brownfields funds expended on assessment, cleanup, and revolving loan fund cooperative agreements.

List of the FY 2017 Applicants Selected for Funding: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/brownfields-list-fy17-grants-selected-funding

About EPA’s brownfields program: https://epa.gov/brownfields.

Successful brownfields stories: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/brownfields-success-stories.