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EPA: $3.55 Million in grants for contaminated land cleanup, economic development in Illinois

Release Date: 05/08/2009
Contact Information: Mick Hans, 312-353-5050, hans.mick@epa.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No. 09-OPA077

Grant amount bolstered by American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Funds

(Chicago – May 8, 2009) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson announced today the availability of an estimated $3.55 million in grants bolstered by funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to help communities in Illinois clean up sites known as “brownfields” which may be contaminated by hazardous chemicals or pollutants. The grants which include $550,000 from the Recovery Act and $3 million from the EPA brownfields general program funding, help revitalize former industrial and commercial sites, turning them from problem properties to productive community use.

“Cleaning and reusing contaminated properties provides the catalyst to improving the lives of residents living in or near brownfields communities,” said EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. “A revitalized brownfields site reduces threats to human health and the environment, creates green jobs, promotes community involvement and attracts investment in local neighborhoods.”

“Providing these grants to Illinois communities is an important step forward for both the environment and local economies,” said Bharat Mathur, acting regional administrator.

Applicants selected to receive Recovery Act funds are:

Chicago Heights (2), a $200,000 hazardous substances assessment grant to update an inventory of brownfields sites thoughout the city, and a $200,000 grant to conduct site assessments at properties with potential petroleum contamination.

Rock Island, $150,000 petroleum assessment grant for at least eight area sites.

Applicants selected to receive brownfields general program funds are:

Blue Island, $200,000 hazardous substances cleanup grant to address a mixed-use commercial park at 12245 Division Street.

Dixmoor, $200,000 cleanup grant to address hazardous substances and petroleum contamination at the Dixmoor Parcels site at 14451 S. Wood St.

Freeport (3), $600,000 total, $200,000 each for three hazardous substances cleanup grants to address the Rawleigh Complex Buildings on South Liberty Avenue.

Rockford, $200,000 cleanup grant to address hazardous substances and petroleum contamination at the Ingersoll site at 301 S. Water St.

South Suburban Mayors & Managers Association, $1 million grant to assess hazardous substances and petroleum contamination at larger industrial sites that have good access to inter-modal transportation.

Southwestern Illinois Development Authority (2), a $200,000 hazardous substances assessment grant to conduct site assessments at about 20 sites in the American Bottom region of southwestern Illinois, and a $200,000 petroleum assessment grant for properties with potential contamination.

Stephenson County (2), a $200,000 hazardous substances assessment grant for three to five sites, and a $200,000 grant to conduct site assessments at properties with potential petroleum contamination.

The grants will help to assess, clean up and redevelop abandoned, contaminated properties known as brownfields. Brownfields are sites where expansion, redevelopment or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant. In addition, the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act of 2002 expanded the definition of a brownfield to include mine-scarred lands or sites contaminated by petroleum or the manufacture of illegal drugs. Grant recipients are selected through a national competition. The Brownfields Program encourages development of America’s estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites.

President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 on February 17, 2009, and has directed that the Recovery Act be implemented with unprecedented transparency and accountability. To that end, the American people can see how every dollar is being invested at http://www.recovery.gov.

More information about brownfields cleanup revolving loan fund pilots and grants and other brownfields activities under the Recovery Act: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/eparecovery/.

Additional information on the EPA Region 5 brownfields recipients and their projects is available at http://www.epa.gov/r5brownfields/.

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