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EPA Announces $1 Million for Brownfield Sites in Ottawa, Rochelle and South Beloit

Release Date: 06/13/2014
Contact Information: Anne Rowan 312-353-9391, rowan.anne@epa.gov (media only)

(6/13/14) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 Administrator Susan Hedman today announced brownfield assessment and cleanup grants totaling $1 million to promote redevelopment of contaminated sites in Ottawa, Rochelle and South Beloit, Illinois. Hedman was joined by U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, Ottawa Mayor Robert M. Eschbach and Rochelle Mayor Chet Olson to announce the new grants at Illinois Valley Community College Ottawa Center -- a former brownfield site that was cleaned up and redeveloped with funding from EPA.

"These EPA grants are solid investments in the future of Ottawa, Rochelle and South Beloit – that will help transform contaminated sites into redevelopment opportunities,” said Hedman. “Ottawa’s new EPA grant will expand the city’s successful brownfield program. Rochelle will use this funding to establish a new brownfield redevelopment program and South Beloit will use these grants to clean up a brownfield in the center of the city.”

“I am proud that these three communities are receiving grants that will directly improve the lives of folks who live and work in my district,” Kinzinger said. “These grants will provide much needed resources and give Ottawa, Rochelle and South Beloit the opportunity to invest in projects that will make life better and the communities stronger for everyone in them.”

EPA is awarding a $200,000 brownfield grant to the City of Ottawa to work on high-priority brownfield sites in the downtown area along 21 acres of riverfront property. The city has already completed environmental assessments on 10 properties downtown and in the Marquette Street Industrial Corridor using earlier EPA brownfield grants and is working to assess and prepare nine more properties for cleanup.

“The City of Ottawa was built on a thriving industrial base back in the days when environmental concerns were not the norm,” Eschbach said. “As a result, virtually every economic development project in our downtown involves environmental challenges. Having access to brownfield assessment funds from the U.S. EPA has made a huge difference in our ability to promote economic growth and create new jobs.”

EPA is awarding a $400,000 brownfield grant to the City of Rochelle to conduct environmental assessments of brownfield sites and to develop an inventory that will be used to prioritize sites for cleanup based on future redevelopment potential.

"The City of Rochelle is pleased to be a recipient of the EPA's Brownfield Site Assessment Grant,” Olson said. “These funds will give Rochelle the opportunity to assess sites within in our community for any materials which might require cleanup to create a marketable site for development."

EPA is awarding two brownfield grants totaling $400,000 to the City of South Beloit to clean up the former Primecast Inc. property and two former gas station sites.

“These EPA grants will make it possible for South Beloit to move forward with a greenspace project that had come to a dead halt,” said Mayor Michael M. Duffy. “This cleanup is part of the beginning of very big things for South Beloit.”

Ottawa, Rochelle and South Beloit are three of the 171 communities receiving 2014 brownfield grants from EPA to clean up contaminated properties and boost local economies by redeveloping former brownfield sites.

More information on brownfields grants by state: http://cfpub.epa.gov/bf_factsheets/.