EPA Brownfields Initiative
EPA's Brownfields Program empowers states, communities, and other stakeholders to work together to prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse brownfields. A brownfield site is real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. On January 11, 2002, President George W. Bush signed into law the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act. Under the Brownfields Law, EPA provides financial assistance to eligible applicants through four competitive grant programs: assessment grants, revolving loan fund grants, cleanup grants, and job training grants. Additionally, funding support is provided to state and tribal response programs through a separate mechanism.
Date of Announcement: Apr 2001
$50,000 for Greenspace
Profile: The city seeks to assess five parcels encompassing more than 100 acres and two abandoned railroad rights-of-way as part of a plan to return these properties to active use and help revitalize two neighborhoods that have been negatively affected by brownfields.
The city has suffered economically from the growth of low-end metal salvaging and truck storage industries and traffic in the Pilot area. The city and community want to develop other land uses, such as commercial and housing development, as anchor properties in the corridor, but their efforts have been halted by environmental concerns at these properties. The Silver property, a metal salvage yard on the Kishwaukee River Site, is the city's first priority for downtown redevelopment. Quick action is needed at this property to prevent local businesses from redeveloping it for other low-end uses. Reuse of the East Madison Street site is part of a long-term effort to relieve traffic congestion in downtown areas and slow urban sprawl.
Through this Pilot project, the city plans to complete subsurface investigations, conduct Phase I and Phase II environmental site assessments, and identify cleanup design options for these sites. The city also will conduct public outreach to gain community input regarding property redevelopment options. LaPorte anticipates potential redevelopment of the former landfill and portions of the target parcels as greenspace for passive recreational use along an existing park and nearby lake. The greenspace also would serve as an integral part of a new housing development near the city's old central business district. Affordable family housing, commercial businesses, and improved transportation opportunities (including pedestrian and bicycling trails) are potential end uses for these properties.
Activities planned as part of this Pilot include:
- Conducting Phase I and Phase II environmental site assessments of the five properties;
- Preparing an initial environmental conditions report based on assessment results to use in further planning and to identify preliminary cleanup options;
- Organizing neighborhood workshops and undertaking a city-wide design charrette to draft a conceptual plan for redevelopment of the project area;
- Completing a final redevelopment plan.
For further information, including specific grant contacts, additional grant information, brownfields news and events, and publications and links, visit the EPA Brownfields Web site (http://www.epa.gov/brownfields).
EPA Region 5 Brownfields Team
EPA Region 5 Brownfields Web site (http://www.epa.gov/R5Brownfields)
Grant Recipient: City of LaPorte, IN
The information presented in this fact sheet comes from the grant proposal; EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of this information. The cooperative agreement for the grant has not yet been negotiated. Therefore, activities described in this fact sheet are subject to change.