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Brownfield Redevelopment Authority

What is a brownfield and what might it look like in your community?

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a brownfield 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 simple terms, a brownfield is property that is either contaminated or that people think might be contaminated.Common examples of brownfields include former gas stations, metal plating facilities, factories, and dry cleaners. Brownfields can be as small as a corner lot or can cover hundreds of acres and can exist almost anywhere - from commercial corridors to rural areas. Many sites now considered brownfields once provided economic vitality and jobs to local communities.

What does a Brownfield Authority do?

A Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (BRA) helps redevelop blighted, contaminated or functionally obsolete properties. Brownfield authorities can qualify for Brownfield site federal and state grants.

Current Funding Opportunities

EPA Assessment Grant: in 2019, WCBRA was awarded a $600,000 Brownfield Assessment Grant by the EPA. WCBRA will use the funds to assess brownfield sites where redevelopment will support environmental improvement initiatives, foster economic growth, and enhance the quality of life for residents.

Applications for projects that are shovel-ready, have known or suspected contamination, and have the potential to create economic growth are encouraged to be submitted for the County's consideration.

Click here for our Assessment Grant Application

Tax Increment Financing: The Brownfield Redevelopment Financing Act, mcl Act 381 of 1996, enables the WCBRA to authorize tax increment financing for the implementation of redevelopment projects. The incremental increases to property tax revenues can be captured and used to finance eligible activities on a site, including baseline environmental assessments, due care activities and additional environmental response activities.

A Path Forward: Brownfield Area-Wide Plan

In 2017, the EPA selected the Wayne County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority as a Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Grant recipient. The Wayne County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority worked 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 closed in 2021), and the neighborhood in between these two sites.

The project occurred in three phases: Understanding, Idea Testing, and Deciding & Doing. Each phase included a public workshop and an advisory committee meeting.Click here to see the deliverables of the Area-Wide Plan Grant.

Click here to see the deliverables of the Area-Wide Plan Grant.

For additional information, contact Annie Mendoza, MCD, Executive Director
Email: amendoza@waynecounty.com

Monthly WCBRA Meetings
Next Meeting: Tuesday, September 20, 2022 at 2:00 P.M.
Where: In-Person on the 28th floor of the Guardian Building at 500 Griswold, Detroit MI 48226. You can also join via zoom here.

EPA Resources:

Anatomy of a Brownfield (pdf)
Is there a Brownfield in my Community? (pdf)
Brownfield Reuses (pdf)
Supporting Environmental Justice through Brownfields (pdf)

Documents & Reports