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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 clean up and revitalize brownfields sites. Under this law, EPA provides financial assistance to eligible applicants through competitive grant programs for brownfields site assessment, site cleanup, revolving loan funds, area-wide planning, and job training. Additional funding support is provided to state and tribal response programs through a separate mechanism.

Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Program

EPA's Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Program assists communities in responding to local brownfields challenges, particularly where multiple brownfield sites are in close proximity, connected by infrastructure, and limit the economic, environmental and social prosperity of their surroundings. This program enhances EPA's core brownfields assistance programs by providing grant funding to communities so they can perform the research needed to develop an area-wide plan and implementation strategies for brownfields assessment, cleanup, and reuse. The resulting area-wide plans provide direction for future brownfields area improvements that are protective of public health and the environment, economically viable, and reflective of the community's vision for the area.

Project Description


EPA has selected the Wayne County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority as a Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Grant recipient. The Wayne County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority will work with the community and other stakeholders to develop an area-wide plan and implementation strategy for the redevelopment of the City of River Rouge's downtown area, the area of the DTE Energy Rouge River Power Plant, which fronts both the Rouge and Delaware Rivers and is slated for closure in 2020, and the neighborhood in between these two sites. River Rouge is an existing developed community historically steeped in economic prosperity, where residents could expect to find high-quality, high-skill careers in the manufacturing sector. However, River Rouge's economy has recently declined, and in response, the city is seeking to develop a planning initiative that will attract developers who will invest in high-quality housing located in walkable, transit-oriented, dense neighborhoods with vibrant commercial corridors. Redevelopment of the project area is expected to create jobs and job training opportunities for the local community, improve health and environmental conditions that contribute to environmental justice disparities, and incorporate the Power Plant and other high-priority sites into the proposed Gordie Howe International Bridge project, which will span across the Detroit River and connect the area to Canada. Key partners who will work with the Wayne County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority on this project include the Detroit-Wayne County Port Authority, Sierra Club-Southeast Michigan Group, University of Michigan, Southeast Michigan Community Alliance, Ultimate New Beginnings, City of River Rouge, Detroit City Council, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice, and Downriver Community Conference.


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 (https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/brownfields-and-land-revitalization-illinois-indiana-michigan-minnesota-ohio-and)

Grant Recipient: Wayne County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, MI

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-17-001J
January 2017
United States
Protection Agency
Washington, D.C. 20460
Land and
Management (5105T)

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