Michigan City, IN
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 Pilot targets two abandoned industrial facilities surrounded by single-family homes in an Urban Enterprise Zone of the city.
EPA has selected Michigan City for a Brownfields Assessment Pilot. The city also was selected to receive additional funding for assessments at brownfields properties to be used for greenspace purposes. Michigan City's location near Chicago on the southern shore of Lake Michigan has historically provided a stimulus for growth. The city prospered until the 1970s when factories closed, unemployment rose, and neighborhoods surrounding once-vibrant industries began to erode. Michigan City (population 32,752) has chosen two aging and abandoned industrial facilities (Schmock Oil and Royal Metal) in its Urban Enterprise Zone as Pilot targets. Both properties are surrounded by single-family homes. Residents in the Pilot areas (population 10,114) have an unemployment rate of 10 percent, and poverty rates up to 22 percent.
Contamination is known or suspected at both sites in neighborhoods already impacted economically and socially. The one-acre Schmock Oil facility was originally used for sheet rock manufacturing and later as an industrial equipment supply warehouse. When an oil leak was discovered on the property in 1999, soil contaminated by the leak was removed, as well as oil drums and tanks. Other kinds of contamination remain. The five-acre Royal Metal facility, which produced office furniture, is in disrepair, and the city has had to condemn collapsed buildings on the site. If contamination can be addressed at the sites, both of which are served by good infrastructures, they have potential for rehabilitation in an area that needs an economic boost.
The city's overall objective is to clean up and reuse the Schmock Oil and Royal Metal facilities in the Urban Enterprise Zone. The city plans to obtain ownership of these facilities through condemnation and foreclosure on property tax issues. Pilot funds will be used to perform assessments at the two sites and determine a cleanup strategy and reuse plan. Neighborhood groups will be established to monitor and participate in the process beginning with the initial site assessments.
Activities planned as part of this Pilot include:
- Conducting Phase I and Phase II environmental site assessments of the Schmock Oil and Royal Metal facilities;
- Developing a cleanup and reuse plan that includes cleanup costs and sources of cleanup funds; and
- Involving community groups during the entire process.
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 Michigan City
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.