EPA Selects Tuscola County to Receive $600,000 in Brownfields Assessment Funding
One of four brownfields grants announced today totaling $1.8 million statewide to help Michigan communities Build Back Better
CHICAGO (May 17, 2021) – Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that the Tuscola County Economic Development Corp. has been selected to receive $600,000 in Brownfields funding through its Multipurpose, Assessment and Cleanup (MAC) Grants. The funding will help communities in Tuscola County investigate the environmental condition of abandoned industrial and commercial properties that have been targeted for redevelopment.
“EPA’s brownfields program is providing critical funding to help empower Michigan 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 grants underscore EPA’s commitment to lifting up and protecting all communities - especially overburdened and underserved communities - throughout Michigan.”
“I’m pleased that these grants will provide important resources towards addressing environmental clean-up in communities across Michigan,” said Sen. Gary Peters. “By clearing abandoned industrial sites, we can ensure our state is an even greater place to live, work and raise a family.”
"Abandoned industrial properties hurt our local economies and can be dangerous to our environment. I’m glad to see the Environmental Protection Agency investing in our neighborhoods in Michigan. These projects will help us clean up and redevelop these sites, creating jobs and new economic opportunities in our communities,” said Sen. Debbie Stabenow.
The Tuscola County Economic Development Corp. in partnership with the cities of Bad Axe, Caro and Deckersville will assess several properties including a 10-acre dump site in Bad Axe, a former Radio Shack site and the Ferrellgas Distribution Facility in Caro, and the 18-acre Dott Industries site. Tuscola County and its partner communities used earlier EPA brownfields grants to assess 50 properties and cleared 24 for redevelopment. The county’s brownfields success stories include creating or retaining 163 jobs and more than $9.3 million in investments for redevelopment work.
"Thanks to this grant from the EPA, brownfield sites in many parts of the Thumb Area will once again become productive and will be put back on the tax roll. This action will allow the Tuscola EDC working together with the Huron County EDC to continue its important work with the added benefit of retaining and creating jobs throughout Tuscola, Huron and Sanilac County, " said Tuscola County Economic Development Corp. Executive Director Stephen Erickson.
EPA also announced the following three brownfield grants which will benefit additional Michigan communities: $300,000 to Kalamazoo County; $600,000 to the Southcentral Michigan Planning Council, and $300,000 to Marquette County.
“This funding will help continue the momentum we’re building in Michigan to create wins for both the environment and economic development,” said Liesl Clark, director of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy. “We’re pleased that these communities -- from the Thumb of Michigan to West Michigan and the Upper Peninsula -- are getting resources they need to thrive.”
Nationally, a total $65.5 million will be awarded to 151 grantees to help 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:
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. Communities in Michigan have received 296 grants totaling more than $116 million. 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.