Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport Authority awarded brownfield grant for former Wurtsmith Air Force Base

Agency: Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy

August 29, 2018

Ryan Londrigan, MDEQ Brownfield Coordinator, londriganr@michigan.gov, 989-891-6072
Tiffany Brown, MDEQ Public Information Officer, brownt22@michigan.gov, 517-284-6716

A $60,000 Brownfield Redevelopment Grant awarded by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) will help the Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport Authority investigate environmental contamination at the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base. The investigation will help airport officials determine how to revitalize and safely reuse the contaminated site. Wurtsmith Air Force Base was operated by the United States military from 1923 to 1993. The Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport Authority has managed the property since then. 

All the existing hangars at the former air force base are now used by private companies like Kalitta Air, LLC. Kalitta Air is evaluating construction of an additional hangar to support its growing aircraft maintenance and repair business. Kalitta Air already employs over 1,000 people at the airport and each new hangar will create up to 150 new jobs. The hangars cost $15 million each to construct and equip. 

The MDEQ partners with communities to protect public health and the environment and revitalize contaminated property. MDEQ grants and loans pay for environmental investigation and cleanup on brownfields. Brownfields are vacant or abandoned properties with known or suspected environmental contamination.

Partnerships between MDEQ and communities have created $4 billion in private investment and 29,000 new jobs over the life of the Brownfield Redevelopment Program. Each grant and loan dollar invested by the MDEQ in 2017 to protect residents and the environment is expected to return an average of $32 to the state’s economy. When brownfields are redeveloped, property values increase both on the revitalized site and on other nearby properties. Learn more at www.michigan.gov/deqbrownfields.

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