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EPA Brownfields Program

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. In 2002, the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act was passed to help states and communities around the country cleanup and revitalize brownfields sites. Under this 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.

Assessment Grants

$200,000 for hazardous substances
$200,000 for petroleum

EPA has selected Elkhart County for two brownfields assessment grants. Community-wide hazardous substances grant funds will be used to update the county's brownfields inventory and conduct from 10 to 15 Phase I and from 8 to 10 Phase II environmental site assessments. Grant funds also will be used to conduct cleanup planning and support community involvement activities. Petroleum grant funds will be used to conduct the same tasks at sites with potential petroleum contamination.

Community Description

Elkhart County was selected to receive two brownfields assessment grants. Located in northern Indiana, Elkhart County (population 191,768) has been significantly impacted by brownfields, which range in size from less than one acre to more than one square mile. The heavy industrial history of the county includes manufacturing of musical instruments, pharmaceuticals, and machinery. A growing number of these industrial facilities are vacant, and an unknown number of them are current or potential brownfields. During the past year, the county has been devastated by the loss of thousands of jobs, with an unemployment rate that doubled in one year to 9.3 percent. Almost 22 percent of residents are minorities, and almost 11 percent of residents live in poverty. A disproportionate number of Hispanic and Latino residents live in older neighborhoods within or adjacent to industrial areas where brownfields are located. Assessment of brownfields is expected to identify properties with the greatest potential to impact public health and serve as a catalyst for redevelopment.


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
(312) 886-7576
EPA Region 5 Brownfields Web site (http://www.epa.gov/R5Brownfields)

Grant Recipient: Elkhart County, IN
(574) 875-3335

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.

EPA 560-F-09-137
May 2009
United States
Protection Agency
Washington, D.C. 20460
Land and
Management (5105T)

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