Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that the Wayne County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority will receive $600,000 in EPA Brownfields funding through the Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup (MAC) Grant Programs. These funds will assist greatly in assessing and cleaning up abandoned industrial and commercial properties.
"We are working hard to support and revive communities throughout Wayne County, and to improve environmental health, particularly in our most vulnerable places," said Wayne County Executive Warren C. Evans. "Through the efforts of the Wayne County Brownfield Redevelopment Agency and its partners, we are proud to receive another EPA Assessment grant. We will continue taking steps to improve the health and prosperity of all our citizens."
The Wayne County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority will use funds to investigate a River Rouge site near the decommissioned DTE power plant to determine what environmental remediation is necessary before redevelopment plans can move forward. Properties along and near Michigan Avenue in Corktown will also undergo an environmental assessment. Sites in that area will be ready for development associated with Ford's restoration of the Michigan Central Terminal for use as the company's mobility campus.
"I am delighted that the collaboration and cooperation between the City of Detroit, Wayne County, and the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority has been recognized by the EPA in the form of another Brownfield Assessment Grant," said Executive Director of the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority Kyle Burleson. "We're looking forward to working with our partners to further the work we've done to aid both development and environmental cleanups in the region."
"Environmental assessment is a key element of developing Detroit's underutilized properties citywide," said Detroit Economic Growth Corporation's Brian Vosburg. "Assistance with assessing environmental issues has been the top request received by the DBRA for several years. Unfortunately, very little grant funding has been available to date, delaying the growth of development. This award will supply critical funding to help jumpstart neighborhood redevelopment projects in the Delray, Boynton, and Oakwood Heights neighborhoods."
Wayne County and Detroit have received 18 EPA Brownfields grants over the last 20 years. Some of the sites investigated and cleaned up with these grants led to the construction of supportive housing for homeless veterans, a medical supply distribution center, and the Detroit Riverwalk.
A brownfield is a property for which the expansion, redevelopment or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant. There are estimated to be more than 450,000 brownfields in the U.S.