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EPA awards brownfield grants to Michigan communities

August 28, 2019

DTE's decommissioned power plant in River Rouge. A brownfield site nearby will be investigated with money from its grant.

Applicants across the United States compete each year for about 150 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup (MAC) grants of up to $800,000 for brownfield projects. The EPA estimates that there are 450,000 brownfields in the U.S. -- sites where redevelopment is challenging because of known or suspected contamination. The process to be awarded among the best 150 projects in the country, includes completing a 10-page grant application. In a word, these applications are competitive.

Many Michigan communities stepped up to the challenge and submitted grant applications. In June, the EPA announced that five applicants were awarded MAC grants and among the top 150 Brownfields in the nation:

  • Barry County's $300,000 grant will be used to determine whether properties in downtown Hastings are contaminated, and how to make the contaminated sites safe for redevelopment. Some of the sites included in the project area will be reused as housing and parks that will connect to the Hastings Riverwalk trail.
  • The city of Detroit was awarded two grants. A $300,000 assessment grant will be used to investigate old industrial sites on the city's east side under a plan to stabilize neighborhoods, create space for new business, and build new parks. Another $436,742 grant was awarded to the city to clean up contamination at Riverside Park.
  • The Genesee County Land Bank was awarded $800,000 to demolish blighted buildings and clean up environmental contamination near Mott Children's Health Center and the Clark Commons residential development. Clark Commons was also awarded a Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy brownfield grant in 2019.
  • The Lansing Economic Area Partnership will coordinate a $600,000 grant with the cities of Lansing and East Lansing, as well as Ingham, Clinton, and Eaton counties. Sites targeted for redevelopment will be assessed, and when they are safe for reuse, they are expected to be redeveloped with housing, commercial space, and sustainable development projects.
  • Wayne County's Brownfield Redevelopment Authority was awarded $600,000 for assessments to prepare Corktown sites near the Michigan Central Terminal for redevelopment -- a neighborhood that is expected to become very desirable when Ford Motor Company redevelops the terminal for its new mobility campus. The grant will also be used to investigate a River Rouge site near the decommissioned DTE power plant.


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