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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 the City of Columbia City for two brownfields assessment grants. Community-wide hazardous substances and petroleum grant funds will be used to inventory and prioritize brownfield sites in three target areas and conduct 10 to 15 Phase I and four to six Phase II environmental site assessments. Grant funds also will be used to conduct community outreach activities, up to three cleanup plans, and five risk assessments if necessary.

Community Description

The City of Columbia City was selected to receive two brownfields assessment grants. Located in northeastern Indiana, Columbia City (population 8,283) was known for the production of automobile parts and plastics. At one time, the city was the largest producer of blue jeans in the world. The downturn of the automotive industry has resulted in numerous plant closings in the past 10 years and an increased unemployment rate, which is now 12.7 percent. Assessment efforts will target the Downtown Revitalization Area, the West Industrial Corridor, and the South Line Street Corridor. The target areas contain potentially contaminated brownfield sites within residential neighborhoods. Brownfield assessments will help the city identify priority sites for eventual cleanup, which is expected to facilitate redevelopment efforts in the downtown commercial and industrial corridors.


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: City of Columbia City, 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.

EPA 560-F-10-092
April 2010
United States
Protection Agency
Washington, D.C. 20460
Land and
Management (5105T)

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