EPA Selects Girard, Ohio, to Receive $500,000 Brownfields Grant
Additional brownfields grant brings statewide total to $800,000 to help Ohio communities Build Back Better
CHICAGO (May 18, 2021) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that the City of Girard will receive $500,000 in Brownfields funding through its Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup (MAC) Grants. Funds will be used to clean up the former Ohio Leatherworks.
“EPA’s Brownfields program is providing critical funding to help empower Ohio communities to address the environmental, public health and social issues associated with contaminated land,” said Acting EPA Regional Administrator Cheryl Newton. “EPA commends community leaders for using these funds to take vital steps forward to improve the environment and the local economy. These federal grants show EPA’s commitment to lifting up and protecting all communities -especially environmental justice and underserved communities -throughout Ohio.”
“It’s encouraging to see this cleanup put into motion with federal investment to assist the hard work from the local community. The removal of contaminants is a critical step to bringing new business to Girard and I applaud the work being done in the community to make that a reality,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown.
“There are hundreds of thousands of contaminated commercial and industrial sites in the U.S., especially in Midwest communities like ours in Ohio. Re-claiming these brownfields can create a number of local environmental, economic, and social benefits for a community. I am thrilled to join the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in announcing their selection to award $500,000 to the City of Girard and Trumbull County Planning Department to clean up and redevelop the former Girard Leatherworks property for recreational and commercial use. Abandoned brownfields are eyesores and an impediment to local investment, so cleaning up this contaminated site is a significant development for Girard and Trumbull County,” said Rep. Tim Ryan.
Girard will use its grant funds to remediate historic contamination at the former Leatherworks site, 1052 North State Street. The 11.8-acre cleanup site was formerly a leather processing operation where animal hides were tanned, dyed, and tempered with chemicals to make them softer and more pliable. Grant funds also will be used to support community outreach activities.
“This is an honor to the citizens who labored at the Ohio Leatherworks from 1900 to 1970,” said Girard Mayor James Melfi. “These citizens supported their families and our nation through two world wars. And now, a half century later, a rebirth.”
EPA also announced a $300,000 Brownfields grant for Rural Action, Inc., bringing the statewide funding total to $800,000.
“We are pleased to now work with our federal, state, and local partners to transform these urban and rural brownfield sites into parcels that will be environmentally safe and useful for future generations,” Ohio EPA Director Laurie A. Stevenson said. “This is a good day for Girard and the entire state of Ohio.”
Nationally, a total $65.5 million will be awarded to 151 grantees to support underserved and economically disadvantaged communities across the country assess and clean up contaminated and abandoned industrial and commercial properties. Approximately 50% of selected recipients are receiving EPA Brownfields grant funding for the first time and more than 85% are located in or serving small communities.
The list of the fiscal year 2021 applicants selected for funding is available here: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/applicants-selected-fy-2021-brownfields-multipurpose-assessment-and-cleanup-grants. EPA anticipates that it will award the grants once all legal and administrative requirements are satisfied by the selected recipients.
Since its inception in 1995, EPA's Brownfields Program has provided nearly $1.72 billion in grants to assess and clean up contaminated properties and return them to productive reuse. Ohio communities have received over $90 million through 206 grants This has led to significant benefits for communities across the country. For example,
- To date, communities participating in the Brownfields Program have been able to attract more than $34.4 billion in cleanup and redevelopment funding after receiving Brownfields funds. This has led to over 175,500 jobs in cleanup, construction, and redevelopment.
- Based on grant recipient reporting, recipients leveraged on average $20.13 for each EPA Brownfields dollar and 10.3 jobs per $100,000 of EPA Brownfield Grant funds expended on assessment, cleanup, and revolving loan fund cooperative agreements.
- In addition, an academic peer-reviewed study has found that residential properties near brownfield sites increased in value by 5% to 15.2% as a result of cleanup activities.
- Finally, analyzing data near 48 brownfields, EPA found an estimated $29 million to $97 million in additional tax revenue for local governments in a single year after cleanup—2 to 7 times more than the $12.4 million EPA contributed to the cleanup of those brownfield sites.
For more on the Brownfields Grants: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/types-brownfields-grant-funding.
For more on EPA’s Brownfields Program: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields.