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Archived Success Stories




Chicago, Illinois

In 1997 Chicago was designated as a U.S. EPA Showcase Community. Grant funds awarded with this designation were leveraged with other grants, such as the Illinois EPA, and from developers and builders to create environmental improvements that benefit the city.

A concrete crushing facility, operating illegally, accepted construction demolition material and was found with a 70 foot tall heap of contaminated debris. The firm declared bankruptcy. The city disposed of the demolition material and recycled the 589,000 tons of crushed concrete into material for city infrastructure projects.

Since 2002 this site has been home to the Chicago Center for Green Technology. Nationally known, this LEED Platinum Standard building has solar roof panels to generate its own electricity. It houses classrooms for teaching sustainable design and green technology. Its parking lot is "paved" with shredded rubber tires; its green roof and swales surrounding the building reduce the amount of rain water going into city sewers.

In another project Chicago cleaned up an auto repair shop, removing or covering contaminated soil. A building was erected, home to Jubilee Family Resource Center. The Resource Center provides much needed daycare year round for 200 children and offers jobs to 38 adults.

A third project turned an abandoned carriage and automobile manufacturing plant dating back to 1895 into Parnell Place, a new community offering home ownership in 42 new homes. A blighted eyesore has become a community that encourages foster families keeping siblings together. Parnell Place offers daycare, after school programs and family-oriented activities.

For more information, visit the City of Chicago, Department of Environment


Lacon, Illinois

The Grieves Woolen Mill operated on this site from 1860 until the late 1960's. The mill processed raw wool, spinning and dyeing it into felts and other woolen products. Later this four acre site housed a farm implement dealership. After the implement dealership closed many of the buildings fell into serious disrepair. The city of Lacon acquired the property in 1994 and in 1999 received an Illinois EPA Brownfields grant and the site was placed in the IEPA Site Remediation Program.

A U.S. EPA Assessment grant of $200,000 was awarded in 1999. Assessment revealed chromium, antimony, tin, pesticide and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbon contamination. Over 1,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil was removed; an engineered barrier of three feet of clean soil was placed over the entire site. The city received its No Further Remediation Letter in October 2004.

Located in a mixed residential, commercial and industrial setting, part of the site is now a new city park along the Illinois River, enjoyed by citizens and visitors. Construction is progressing on a river-view condominium complex adjacent to the new park and close to the city marina.

For more information on Lacon, Illinois, see: http://www.midland-7.org/sivertsen/lacon.htm exit EPA


Sterling, Illinois

In 2001, the bankruptcy filing and closing of Northwestern Steel and Wire devastated the economy of this city with fewer than 16,000 residents. Its city government and citizens moved quickly to encourage other steel producers and other industries to utilize the facilities and to continue to employ Sterling workers.

Neighboring communities were recruited to join the effort, and the Rock River Redevelopment Area was established. Funding from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency was solicited and utilized. Two of the three steel plants were sold to a large manufacturer who put them back in use for steel production.

In 2003, Sterling successfully secured a U.S. EPA Brownfields Assessment and Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) grant, which funded the assessment of a petroleum release, a groundwater review, and an investigation of cooling the water lagoon. The RLF grant and a leverage of funds will also fund any further assessment and/or necessary remediation.

In addition, Sterling has secured a major retail distribution center which will employ more than 700 workers when it opens in early 2006.

For more information on Sterling, visit: http://www.sterling-il.gov


Canton, Illinois

In the early 1900s, the International Harvester Company set the industry standard of farm implement manufacturing, providing the technology necessary for the rapid expansion of mechanized agriculture in the United States. The International Harvester plant in Canton, Illinois was the company's largest manufacturing plant and was the employment engine of the region. Upon closure in 1983, it left 20% of the city's population unemployed.

The plant was destroyed by fire in 1997, blackening 33 acres in the downtown area, spreading ash throughout the city, and eliminating any opportunity for adaptive reuse of the facility. Over the past seven years dedicated Canton citizens worked in partnership with Illinois EPA and U.S. EPA to clean up and redevelop this brownfield. This partnership has secured over $4.8 million in funds for assessment, remediation, and site preparation.

A redevelopment master plan has been adopted. It provides for expanding local job opportunities, commercial services, and recreational opportunities. Successful implementation of the plan will restore lost jobs and return a large portion of the site to the tax base. Civic enthusiasm for this plan has already stimulated building renovation and planning for a prosperous and environmentally sound future for this once degraded city.


Freeport, Illinois

This historic city has identified its brownfields and is working with a multitude of partners to facilitate redevelopment. Freeport received a U.S. EPA Brownfields Pilot Grant in 2001 and a Illinois EPA Brownfields Redevelopment Grant, added city funds, and secured further funding from U. S. HUD, Illinois DOT, and, on one parcel, from the responsible party. The city of Freeport enrolls all of its brownfields sites in the Illinois EPA Site Remediation Program (SRP). The brownfields parcel, formerly Burgess Battery, was redeveloped into a boat ramp, a bike trail and a park facility.

From 1926 until 1989 this site was a dry cell battery manufacturing plant and was left with environmental concerns ranging from underground storage tanks to cyanide plating system residue and asbestos insulation. Buildings are now raised and wastes removed.

Site of a famous Lincoln-Douglas debate in 1868, Freeport, Illinois, lent its name to the famous "Freeport Doctrine", served as a major railway and industrial center in early Illinois, and was the childhood home of social reformer Jane Addams. Even its success and fame did not let Freeport escape the problems associated with urban brownfields.

In the 1900's residents used bicycles as convenient transportation - now they cycle for health and recreation. Since 2004 residents have used a new bicycle path, the Jane Addams Trail, built across the old manufacturing site. This new trail links the 487 mile Grand Illinois Trail with Wisconsin's Badger Trail system.

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Indianapolis, Indiana

The City of Indianapolis recognized that many abandoned or degraded industrial sites were in areas where neighborhood renovation and redevelopment would take place in the near future. A one-at-a-time approach to each site did not seem efficient. Instead, Indianapolis utilized a U.S. EPA Brownfields grant in 2006 that made it possible to assess a 540 acre blighted area within the city that impacted commercial, industrial and residential decisions over a great portion of this 403 square mile state capitol. The project culminated in Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Area Survey (Survey).

The Monon Trail Greenway bisects the survey area running north - south. The original Monon Rail Line was an integral draw for industrial development in the 1800s and early 1900s. Today the Monon Trail Greenway replaces the old Monon Rail line and provides an integral draw for redevelopment of the neighborhood linking the downtown urban core to suburbs to the north. Brownfield sites are clustered around the Monon Trail and provide both a significant redevelopment challenge, and opportunities that the Survey is designed to address.

Over 75 parcels were studied with full Phase I Environmental Site Assessments completed on about 20 sites. Strong community involvement from both business and community groups helped identify locations for new or expanded businesses, residential areas and nearby greenspaces that are making both commercial and residential areas more attractive. Recognizing the efficacy of the project's area-wide approach, two local community development corporations (CDCs) have now commissioned similar brownfield surveys. A local developer has utilized the study to explore acquisition and cleanup of three junkyard sites identified in the study.

Twenty-five new homes have been built in the eastern portion of the survey area, with dozens more presently under construction. The Survey is assisting the private residential development market by providing environmental data to promote cleanup and redevelopment of brownfield sites in the area. By reducing barriers to redeveloping these brownfield sites this project has promoted the crucial commercial redevelopment component to well-rounded neighborhood redevelopment.

For more information, visit IndyGov


New Albany, Indiana

New Albany was saddled with an abandoned industrial site within its historic downtown area. The site, abandoned since at least 1999, had formerly been used as a foundry and machine shop and by a tire and auto service business.

The city secured a Brownfields Cleanup grant from U.S. EPA after completing assessments, using funding assistance from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

As the city was looking at cleanup and redevelopment options for its declining downtown area, the YMCA of Southern Indiana identified downtown New Albany as the best site for a new facility.

Civic enthusiasm determined the new YMCA facility could be upgraded to be a major improvement for the city. The plan for Scribner Place followed. This plan broadened the YMCA vision to include an Olympic-sized natatorium, an observation tower overlooking the Ohio River and off-street parking. Phase 2 includes a hotel and a condo/apartment complex.

Funding presented another challenge. With determined City Council members backing the plan and the generosity of a family foundation the plan now is set to move forward. Groundbreaking activities took place in early November 2006.

For more information on New Albany, Indiana see: http://www.cityofnewalbany.com/


La Porte, Indiana

La Porte, Indiana, has a vision for the future, designating its brownfields area “NewPorte Landing.” The 150+ acre site, situated between its business district and a residential area, has both undeveloped areas and industrial space which has been contaminated and abandoned.

Assessment and planning has utilized city funds and in-kind services, state of Indiana funds, funds from a U.S. EPA Brownfields Assessment grant, and assistance from the U.S. EPA Removal Cleanup unit. In addition, a community development corporation has been established, and community involvement continues to be solicited; also, cleanup of a former farm equipment manufacturing site is underway.

NewPorte Landing includes acres of greenspace—loved and much well used by its residents. More greenspace is being added as the city gets a face lift and the vision becomes a reality.

For more information on La Porte, visit: http://ww.cityoflaporte.com


Gary, Indiana

Gary, Indiana was a member of one of the first brownfields coalitions in the nationCthe Northwest Indiana Brownfields Redevelopment Project. Gary has within its municipal boundaries remnants of a unique dune and swale ecosystem created by the changing levels of Lake Michigan over time. Much of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore lies within the City of Gary. Many of Gary's brownfield properties contain wetlands and areas for greenspace and opportunities for habitat restoration. The City of Gary used an EPA Assessment Grant to conduct Phase I and Phase II assessments.

The proposed reuse as open space will provide a nature observatory for the public and for schools. A perimeter bike and walking path will provide further recreation.

Groundwork Gary will involve and utilize the best talents of its citizens to reclaim, enhance, develop and maintain urban greenspace and reuse brownfields while raising civic awareness and appreciation of the benefits of such spaces to all.

from Strategic Plan, Groundworks Gary Project, Gary, Indiana


South Bend, Indiana

Partnership of local residents with city, state and federal resources leads to success.

South Bend, Indiana, partnered with state and federal environmental funding sources to augment a 1982 bequest from South Bend candy wholesaler, Arthur Fredrickson, that was earmarked to establish a new city park.

The city purchased a 15.7 acre site. This site had been a private landfill from the mid-1940's until the 1960's. It was discovered to be contaminated. After assessment, debris removal was undertaken. A methane recovery system is being installed to capture gases generated by buried waste. A clay cap will be installed to reduce water infiltration and the surface will then be graded and contoured.

When finished the new park will include an environmental education center and an outdoor amphitheater. The South Bend Community School Corporation is developing a curriculum for using the education center. Mayor Luecke was quoted at the groundbreaking, AWe literally are making treasure from trash. We'll enrich the environmental stewardship programs of the City of South Bend for generations to come.

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Eaton Rapids, Michigan (Eaton County)

Eaton County recognized the need for redevelopment in its county seat of Eaton Rapids. A county housing study had identified the need for housing for senior citizens. Assessment funded by a U.S. EPA Brownfields grant identified the need to remove USTs and hydraulic lifts from an abandoned school bus garage. Private investment covered these removal costs. The local school district was eager to have this property put back into use and add to the local economy. The Michigan State Housing Development Authority helped with redevelopment incentives.

This old bus garage will be the site of a 40-unit housing center scheduled to be complete by January 2008. This center is being established to serve senior citizens, a much-needed facility in the rural area.

Another site included in this project was assessment and renovation of a block of old business buildings in the town center. Hall Street businesses have back doors on a river that flows through the town. Upgrading the facades of the buildings and renovating the river path has done much to make this business area more attractive and economically profitable.

For more information, visit the Eaton County Information Network


Focus:HOPE Revitalization, Detroit, Michigan

Focus:HOPE Revitalization is a nonprofit organization which takes practical action to overcome racism, poverty and injustice. Focus:HOPE Revitalization identified the Yellow Pages Building, a Detroit landmark, as the site for a facility to meet its expanded program. Continuing its emphasis on community building, Focus:HOPE Revitalization secured a $200,000 EPA Brownfields Cleanup grant in 2003 and a $350,000 loan from the city of Detroit's Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund to help finance phase one of the project.

Phase one involved the clean-up and demolition of an abandoned factory building adjacent to the Yellow Pages Building. Contaminated soil was removed or covered with clean soil and the property will provide parking for the new facility. Cleanup work included recycling approximately 738 tons of steel, 3,080 cubic yards of demolition debris and 1,760 cubic yards of concrete. Focus:HOPE Revitalization's work illustrates how to effectively incorporate reuse and recycling into the Brownfields Cleanup and Redevelopment program.

Work on the renovation continues. The new facility will include conference rooms, housing, and retail space.

For more information about Focus:HOPE Revitalization see: http://www.focushope.edu/


Monroe, Michigan

From 1920 until the mid-1980s, a 185-acre site in Monroe, Michigan, was home to a manufacturer of corrugated cardboard boxes and related materials. Acquired by the city in 1987, the factory buildings were razed in 1990; cleanup of the site began in 2000.

Fifty-five acres of this site have been remediated contain 100 new single-family homes with detached garages, sidewalks, and neighborhood parks, all elements of New Urbanism in an older community. When the development is completed, it'll contain about 500 homes.

Innovative environmental management has helped control cleanup and site preparation costs. Most of the site was covered with two feet of contaminated ash and cinder from plant operations. This material is being excavated and encapsulated under road rights of way and parks. Concrete from the basements of old buildings is being broken up and used as the base for new roads.

More New Urbanism is evident in the plan. At least 10 percent of the acreage will be kept as greenspace, including hiking trails and family recreation areas. This redevelopment is designed to blend in with the surrounding residential neighborhoods and maintain the fabric of the community.


Detroit, Michigan

The Fraternal Civic Center Group will build a new headquarters on the same city block as their current offices. They acquired abandoned property on the block from the City of Detroit. Community interest inspired an expansion of their vision. Now planned, in addition to a new national headquarters, is a hotel and conference center, apartments, facilities for lodge meetings and a garage. Redevelopment costs are in excess of $45 million.

The Fraternal Group owned ten parcels and acquired the remaining four from the City of Detroit. An EPA Region 5 Assessment grant plus MDEQ Clean Michigan Initiative Grant Funding facilitated the initial work in redeveloping the property.

Several buildings were demolished using $100,000 in MDEQ funds and assistance from the City of Detroit. A site assessment found metals and VOC compounds contaminating soil plus several underground storage tanks.

Many positive changes are occurring in the project area: a Medical Center, new football and baseball stadiums, nearby University expansion and rehabilitation of existing residential units in the area. The fraternal group will use grants and gifts to erect the first African American-owned fraternal Civic Center in the U.S.


Kalamazoo, Michigan

A city block in downtown Kalamazoo was abandoned for nearly ten years after being home to Speareflex, a manufacturer of automotive parts. Title reverted to state ownership because of delinquent taxes. Federal, State and local efforts generated funds needed for environmental assessment while the state arranged title transfer to the city. Required cleanup included soil contaminated by heavy metals and petroleum, groundwater impacted by chlorinated solvents, and demolition of derelict bldgs. U.S. EPA Brownfields grants yielded a total of $400,000 in assessment, supplemental and greenspace dollars.

PlazaCorp purchased the block in 2000 for $200,000 and have since invested more than $7million converting the remaining buildings to a mix of professional offices and retail uses.

The four-story warehouse is now occupied by Biggs-Gilmore Advertising plus several smaller commercial office tenants. The Art Deco office building is now occupied by Shakespeare's Pub and will soon add Gary Fields' Comedy Club.

more info on this project at www.redevelopkalamazoo.org

Saginaw, Michigan

In 1998, the Chamber of Commerce organized the South Washington Avenue Improvement Committee, a public/private partnership of local government agencies and businesses, to focus on the revitalization of an important City corridor adjacent to the central business district.

This blighted area was home to numerous abandoned commercial and industrial sites and neglected rental houses.

The objective of the committee was to assemble individual parcels into commercially viable properties. Along with financial and in-kind contributions from committee members, the Committee tapped into the City's Brownfield Assessment grant from EPA to perform due diligence activities prior to acquiring parcels.

The cornerstone of this revitalization effort was the 4-acre former Genessee Packaging plant brownfield site which became the site of the new Michigan Cardiovascular Institute. Following assessment and cleanup, construction was initiated in October 2001 and completed in May 2003 with the opening of a state-of-the-art medical facility.

Total public/private investment in this project exceeded $10 million and included several grants from the State to assist in property acquisition, demolition and cleanup activities.

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St. Louis Park, Minnesota

Since 1940, this 10-acre site, now known as the National Lead/Golden Auto site, had been used primarily for lead smelting and auto salvage. The industrial operations and on-site waste disposal resulted in significant lead, cadmium, arsenic and petroleum contamination. The site was placed on both the Federal and State Superfund lists in 1983.

A combination of low interest U.S. EPA loans administered through Hennepin County and Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), along with grants funds from Hennepin County, Minnesota DEED, Metropolitan Council and tax increment financing provided by the City of St. Louis Park, made cleanup and redevelopment of this site possible. The site was removed from Superfund lists in 2001. Real Estate Recycling, a developer specializing in cleaning up such properties, conducted further cleanup to make it possible to redevelop, worked on redevelopment, contributed funds to the project and purchased the site in 2006.

Highway 7 Business Center, a modern office showroom incorporating green design elements, was completed in June 2007. The new facility will generate over 350 jobs and add $150,000 annually to the local tax base.

For more information, visit the Hennepin County, Minn. and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED)


Moorhead, Minnesota

The Main Avenue Bridge in Moorhead, Minn. carries 25,000 vehicles across the Red River of the North every day. The Central City Corridor near the bridge had many structures over 100 years old, underutilized or abandoned for many years. Former businesses included a gas station, dry cleaner, auto repair shops, electric motor facility, a foundry and a paint shop.

A $400,000 U.S. EPA Brownfields Assessment grant launched the redevelopment task.

Environmental concerns included leaking storage tanks, both above and underground, plus soil and groundwater contaminated with chlorinated VOCs, PAHs, metals and petroleum. During remediation, over 12,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil and 2,600 cubic yards of impacted or debris-laden soil were removed, plus 458 gallons of free-product impacted water were pumped.

The new Main Avenue Bridge was enhanced with a Riverfront Plaza and trails. The historic Kassenborg block and Douglas House were renovated and the corridor was redeveloped into a pedestrian-oriented downtown district in the new urbanism style. Over 100 new dwelling units were built plus 200 underground or structured parking spaces, and 37,305 square feet of commercial space. This project has generated substantial community pride. This new sense of vitality in the downtown region has resulted in rising property values and expanded private investments.

City, state and other federal funding financed cleanup and leveraged private investment. Project costs totaled $22 million.

To learn more about Moorhead, Minnesota see: http://www.ci.moorhead.mn.us/

MPCA Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

Meth (methamphetamine) is an illegal stimulant made from cold medicine and common household chemicals. Production of meth in illegal "labs" creates contaminated structures and environmental hazards. Wastes from labs may be dumped into drains, onto soils, or into burn or burial pits.

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) used part of its U.S. EPA 128(a) funds to study effective methods of cleaning meth lab sites when discovered. To date, the distribution of meth on and in building materials has been identified as a baseline for cleaning studies. Meth penetrates latex paint and building materials such that it is not easily removed by washing. Also, wipe sampling has been found to give unreliable data due to differences in building material porosity, surfaces, vertical location, and personnel wiping techniques.

Additional study is required:


St. Paul Port Authority, St. Paul, Minnesota

Many Hmong immigrants from Laos have moved to the Twin Cities in recent years. They have rituals regarding death that are unique to their culture. Because their funeral ceremonies are so different from typical American services, many Hmong families have problems finding facilities that are able to accommodate their needs.

To help alleviate this problem, a restored brownfields site was used to construct the first building in the U.S. built specifically as a Hmong funeral home. The design permits multiple funeral services to be conducted at the same time. This project is a cooperative effort between the city of St. Paul, the St. Paul Port Authority, and a Hmong-American developer. A U.S. EPA Brownfields grant has supplied some of the funding.

Groundbreaking for the new facility was held on a cold November day -but that did not keep community members from participating in this important event. Whole families attended so everyone could celebrate the end to the long wait for this needed cultural amenity.

For more information on St Paul Port Authority, visit: http://www.sppa.com


Little Falls, Minnesota

Hennepin Paper Company operated a mill facility in Little Falls, Minnesota, on a site running along the Mississippi River, from 1890 until 1998. The City of Little Falls acquired the property, now abandoned and vandalized, in 2002. Site assessments revealed hazardous chemicals and asbestos in some buildings, soil contaminated with petroleum compounds and some polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB's) on the property.

Community groups held public forums to give broad input into the redevelopment of the property. A City Council member, a retired Hennepin Paper employee, strongly encouraged pursuit of all possible funding sources for cleanup and re-use. An expanded city park, tentatively named Mill Park, was planned. Region 5 U.S. EPA Cleanup and RLF grants facilitated initial progress.

A review required by Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act determined that the site met the criteria of the National Register of Historic Places. Consultation with local historical societies, former Hennepin Paper employees and area tribes resulted in a Memorandum of Agreement with EPA, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office that required portions of the structures and various pieces of equipment to be salvaged during the demolition. These pieces will be included in the historic and educational details of Mill Park, adding greatly to its historical richness.

Demolition and remediation of contaminated soil was completed in June, 2004, and redevelopment of the property began. Mill Park will be a natural park to include an outdoor environmental educational facility, a memorial to Hennepin Paper workers, an amphitheater and a winter ice rink.


Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity

Partnerships made it possible

The Twin Cities, Minnesota, chapter of Habitat for Humanity has, until now, not considered building homes on environmentally questionable land because the organization recognized that it did not have the expertise or resources to handle questions of contamination. With a partnership undertaken by the Minnesota Environmental Initiative (MEI) and supported by the Twin Cities Metropolitan Council, Habitat has now been able to build on five troubled properties.

MEI secured not only an EPA Assessment Pilot Grant but environmental consulting donated by Braun Intertec, and gifts of equipment and cash from private companies and government offices to make this project possible. This unique collaboration has facilitated a viable, feasible solution to a complex problem, resulting in improved neighborhoods, the removal of blight, housing for 26 families and a model that could be emulated around the country.

The Minneapolis suburb of Burnsville was home to a large property that was a dump site and was assessed to have 2,200 tons of lead-contaminated soil. The partners on this project have succeeded in removing or capping the dangerous soil permitting construction of 11 homes (Twin Cities Habitat's largest single development to date). The intensive work on the property has given the 45 children living on Aspen Grove Lane safe and healthy places to liveCand to play--- and to grow.

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City of Hamilton, Ohio

Mosler Safe was a major employer in the City of Hamilton, a manufacturer of vaults, safes, and security products in the city from 1891 until 1996. It also maintained its corporate headquarters in its 480,000 square foot facility.

In 2002 much of Hamilton's industrial area became a Federally Designated Renewal Community Area. In 2003 the city was awarded a $2,383,500 State of Ohio Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund grant to fund remediation and demolition of the Mosler Safe site.

The project included demolition of the company's structure, removal of over 32,500 tons of lead-contaminated soil, removal of underground storage tanks, asbestos abatement and removal of PCB transformers. In 2000 the city received a $500,000 U.S. EPA Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund to assist with further remediation expense.

In November 2005, the property was purchased and redeveloped with an 81,000 square foot Kroger store and retail facility. The investment of $8,750,000 has returned this 13 acre parcel to productive use and created over 100 jobs.

For more information, visit the City of Hamilton, Ohio


Springfield, Ohio

Iron fencing of the early industrial age, blackout windows and bomb shelter doors demanded in war time, then steel windows for post-war office buildings---all were produced by Bayley Manufacturing, Springfield, Ohio. The industrial revolution moved on and the factory closed in the mid-1980's.

Located in Springfield's Center City the abandoned Bayley manufacturing site became an eyesore. Residents were pleased when two local hospitals signed a redevelopment agreement with the city to begin the building of a cancer treatment center in downtown Springfield. The site along the cliffs of Buck Creek Corridor gave convenient access and an aesthetic setting for this modern medical facility.

Agreements among the city, the state of Ohio, and the U.S. EPA Brownfields grants program provided the financing for identification and removal of contaminants. Community Mercy Health partners raised $7 million for the modern facility.

Local foundations and community members provided an additional $3.5 million to fund historical architecture enhancements commemorating Springfield's past, enhanced outdoor nature areas plus esthetically designed indoor and outdoor areas to provide patients with "tranquility space" creating a healing environment in the heart of an urban core.

For more information on Springfield, Ohio see http://www.ci.springfield.oh.us/


St. Michael's Hospital, Cuyahoga County, Cleveland, Ohio

St. Michael's Hospital opened in 1884 and served a working-class neighborhood until it closed in 2003. The complex included 10 buildings and a garage. Contamination included asbestos and underground storage tanks.

A carefully designed remedial action plan utilized Clean Ohio funds, a U.S. EPA Assessment and Revolving Loan Fund grant, a Cuyahoga County low-interest cleanup loan, and funds from the city of Cleveland to undertake assessment, demolition, and cleanup. EPA's Brownfields Job Training program provided two graduates, who became valuable employees of the demolition contractor.

Local developers are submitting concepts and plans; neighbors in the community are eager to see updated housing, businesses with job opportunities, and more greenspace in this thriving urban neighborhood.

For more information on St. Michael's Hospital, Cuyahoga County, visit: http://www.brownfields.cuyahogacounty.us


Buckeye Hills, Ohio

Appalachian communities have brownfields, but in comparison with other rural problems, brownfields have not warranted especial staff effort or expertise. The Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional Development District (BH-HVRDD) is capitalizing on its partnership with the Governors's Office of Appalachia (GOA), Ohio Department of Development (ODOD) and the U.S. EPA to fund and implement a brownfields initiative in its ten county districts.

The General Clay Products Corporation site operated from the late 1880's until 1997 manufacturing bricks and other clay products and providing employment to area workers. Now idle and abandoned the site is a community eyesore surrounded by residential properties. U.S. EPA funds granted to ODOD were presented in mid-2004 to Hocking County officials to facilitate brownfields assessment of the property.

Ten southeastern Ohio counties bordering the Ohio River are included in the area eligible for assessment grants under this redevelopment project. Local officials are identifying brownfield sites and applying for assessment dollars. The three grants for local site assessment will be made within the 2004-05 fiscal year.


Lancaster, Ohio enhances development and employment

Since the early 1900's Lancaster has had a glass manufacturing plant, most of that time owned by the former Anchor Hocking Glass company. The Lancaster plant was closed in 1985. Left behind in the now decrepit plant facility were soil and fill impacted with metals and asbestos and shallow groundwater containing metals and VOCs.

Lancaster is experiencing rapid growth and wisely is acting to maximize land use and conserve natural resources. The city was successful in securing a Brownfields Assessment Pilot Grant in 2002, funding Phase 1 assessment on two sites. With industrial development interest expressed on one site Phase 2 assessment went forward. The city has now secured a Urban Site Designation (USD) and applied for Clean Ohio Revitalization funding.

A bio-fuels company was attracted to the site, enhanced by its location near both rail and highway transportation. A Letter of Agreement has been signed and the city is scheduling cleanup and redevelopment work before winter. This new development will provide needed jobs in the community.

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2121 South Kinnickinnic Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

The City of Milwaukee acquired this tax-delinquent, 1.7-acre corner lot in 1989. The blighted parcel was a priority for redevelopment because of its location on a prominent intersection leading to Milwaukee's south side. Demolition and site assessment costs were over $170,000.

The assessment work revealed the parcel was heavily impacted with chlorinated volatile organic compounds (VOCs), not unexpected in this former dry cleaning facility. The City was awarded a $200,000 U.S. EPA Cleanup Grant in 2004. The grant was utilized to conduct remediation at the site to prepare for redevelopment. Excavation was conducted for hot spot source removal, while hydrogen release compound (HRC) was utilized to dechlorinate and degrade residual contamination at the site.

Prior to remediation activities the City secured a developer who proposed a mixed use building with retail space and condominiums, recognizing that the location was well placed in an area in the midst of economic upgrading and new home sites. Remediation was conducted in January 2005 and the building construction commenced in March 2005. The completed building houses 21 condominium units and five retail spaces, with rear parking. The redevelopment increased the assessed value of the property by over $6,000,000.

For more information, visit the City of Milwaukee, Wis.


Milwaukee, Wisconsin

The Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee (RACM) acquired the 27,937-square foot property in 1997. This corner lot had been an auto repair facility and dry cleaning operation. The soil was heavily contaminated with petroleum and chlorinated hydrocarbons. RACM spent $100,000+ on testing, demolition and tank removal.

In 2003, RACM received a $200,000 U.S. EPA Brownfields cleanup grant that covered the cost of further remediation, including removal of tons of petroleum and tetrachloroethene-impacted soil. Remediation included installation of a vapor mitigation barrier under the floor of the new building.

Meanwhile the Martin Luther King Economic Development Corporation and the Harambee Ombudsman, two active not-for-profit organizations, were searching for office space. During fall 2005, the search was finished, and the new building will be ready for occupancy, providing 8,900-square feet of ground-floor retail and office space and 18 upper level apartments. This $3.6 million investment will provide needed facilities and an economic turnaround in this community.

For more information on Milwaukee, visit: http://www.medconline.com/Overview/EnvRemediation/Brownfields/index.asp

Milwaukee Community Service Corps Job Training, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Working to reduce a 50 percent unemployment rate in its target population, the Milwaukee Community Service Corps (MCSC) applied for and received the first Brownfields Job Training Demonstration Pilot in Region 5 in 1998. MCSC has received a total of $425,000 for job training with a leverage of more than $350,000. The goal for the current grant is 64 participants. After only one year in the grant period, the goal has been fulfilled.

Curriculum includes 40-hour OSHA training, lead and asbestos abatement instruction, innovative technology training, groundwater sampling, and use of air monitoring equipment. Classroom instruction includes computer classes and life skills training during a 12-week program.

Winter weather did not deter trainees as they learned hands-on groundwater sampling and calibration of air monitoring equipment at the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District.

MCSC is implementing a phytoremediation initiative with an additional $198,000. Its objective is to promote long-term citizen participation in community redevelopment and to create jobs.


Oshkosh, Wisconsin

Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) produced gas from coal for a wide area of central Wisconsin at an Oshkosh facility from the 1870s until the 1950s. In the spring of 2002, the WDNR (Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources) conditionally approved the Remedial Action Work Plan for WPS. WPS completed cleanup of the property later that year in accordance with the approved Remedial Action Work Plan.

Remediation included demolition of buildings; removal of gas holders, tar wells and tar separators; excavation and thermal treatment of 23,500 tons of contaminated material; disposal of 4,000 tons of debris; placement of a 1.5-foot thick protective soil cap; and installation of groundwater trenches and a vertical barrier between source areas and the river.

The City applied $40,000 under its existing brownfield assessment grant to complete a cleanup plan for the management of contamination remaining onsite which will allow for the City's planned reuse of the site. This cleanup plan, the Park Development Plan, has been approved by WDNR and will expand a small city park into the new Riverside Park with concert facilities, public art display space, parking, and a pavilion. In 2004, the City received a $200,000 Cleanup Grant from U.S. EPA which will augment a $200,000 WDNR grant and funds from the City of Oshkosh. To date, more than $3 Million in public and private funds have been committed for the project. Cleanup and construction will begin this fall with plans for completion by the 2005 outdoor concert season.


Partnership in Kenosha, Wisconsin -- everyone participates -- everyone gains

The City of Kenosha, Wisconsin received a U.S. EPA Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund (BCRLF) in the amount of $1,000,000 in 2002 to assist with remediation of the Outokumpu Copper Company, formerly the American Brass Company.

Established in 1886 and one of the largest and best-equipped brass and copper mills in the country, this 30 acre plant (about 12 city blocks) closed in 1999. The City of Kenosha acquired the property in 2002, used its BCRLF grant and funding from State of Wisconsin and local resources to begin assessment, demolition, cleanup and plans for the future. Assessment determined volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as chlorinated solvents, were in the soil and groundwater. Also found in the soil were lead, copper and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

Focus groups and local organizations assessed community needs and identified priorities. Soon a plan was built. Following remediation the site was developed into single and multi-family housing, parks and small and large retail areas. New development brought new dwellings, new parks, new commerce, new jobs -- needed in this low-income area.

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