The nationwide push to clean up and repurpose idle, polluted plots of land will continue in the Buckeye State, where the ongoing Ohio Brownfield Remediation Program is making an additional $175 million in grants available to rehabilitate properties and prepare them for redevelopment.
About 450,000 plots of land located throughout the United States — many of which are former industrial sites — are classified as brownfields, which the Environmental Protection Agency defines as land that is complicated to develop or reuse because of the presence of hazardous materials or petroleum.
This is the fourth round of funding made available through the Ohio Brownfield Remediation Program, which was launched in 2021 and has already provided nearly $350 million to support 313 projects in 83 counties. The program is administered by the Ohio Department of Development.
Remediation includes acquisition of a brownfield, demolition performed at a brownfield, and the installation or upgrade of the minimum amount of infrastructure necessary to make a brownfield site operational for economic-development activity.
Many of the properties undergoing rehabilitation in Ohio once played an important role in the state’s industrial evolution, Gov. Mike DeWine said in a press release.
“By supporting more of our communities through this transformative program, we’re giving these sites a second chance and clearing a path for Ohio’s next great economic success story,” DeWine said.
Each county will have access to $1 million through the program in FY 2024, with the remaining funds – approximately $82 million – awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Applications may be submitted through April 1, 2024.
The nationwide effort to make funding available for communities to rehabilitate former brownfields and make them eligible for redevelopment has been ongoing at the federal level since 1995 with the EPA’s Brownfield and Land Revitalization Program.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) has boosted those efforts, making $5 billion available to rehabilitate brownfields and other contaminated sites. So far, the EPA has awarded $2.5 billion of this funding, including 326 grants.
2014 photo courtesy of Creative Commons