EPA awards $600,000 Brownfield grant to Michigan City

MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. -- The US Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday the Michigan City Sanitary District will receive $600,000 Brownfields Environmental Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup grant.

The city received $300,000 for up to 10 Phase I and up to 12 Phase II environmental site assessments and up to 10 cleanup plans. Funds can also be used to conduct outreach activities, update the inventory of brownfields sites and prioritize sites.

The city received $300,000 petroleum grant funds to conduct up to 10 Phase I and up to 12 Phase II environmental site assessments and up to 10 cleanup plans.

Assessment activities will focus on the Trail Creek and Monon corridors.

The announcement was made at Millennium Park by officials from the EPA, Mayor Ron Meer and Indiana Finance Director Dan Huge.

“Clearly there is no shortage of creativity, innovation and ingenuity when it comes to brownfields redevelopment projects in Michigan City,” said EPA Region 5 Administrator Cathy Stepp. “EPA looks forward to expanding our work with the city to redevelop more brownfields so they can once again be thriving parts of this community– spurring the local economy with jobs and new businesses as well as generating tax revenues and spending.”

EPA’s grant is made in partnership with the Michigan City Redevelopment Commission to continue the redevelopment of recreational areas near Trail Creek and promote job creation by reclaiming former industrial properties in the Monon Corridor.

“Speaking on behalf of our Grant Coalition partners that include the Michigan City Sanitary District, Michigan City Redevelopment Commission, and the City itself, we are grateful to the EPA for this opportunity to make a positive impact on our community,” said Michigan City Mayor Ron Meer. “This grant provides resources for us to identify and investigate many of our environmental legacy sites and move them forward for cleanup and redevelopment. We named five specific sites in our application, but we have many more troublesome properties that have been passed over because of concerns about perceived or real environmental dangers. Such properties have stood vacant for too long, serve no useful purpose, create blight, and threaten the well being of our citizens. The coalition is confident that this money will make a real difference for the citizens of Michigan City by helping foster job creation through redevelopment.”

“The City, Redevelopment Commission, and Sanitary District Coalition partners are blessed by this opportunity,” said Michigan City Sanitary District General Manager Michael Kuss. “The EPA’s funding of our grant application for our Brownfields will help us lay the foundation for redevelopment of environmentally impaired properties by allowing us to remove the cloud of environmental uncertainty that casts its shadow on so much of our otherwise attractive real estate. This grant will prepare contaminated properties for remediation, help with the creation of new jobs, and bring many areas of our City back into economic daylight. The Sanitary District is excited by this opportunity to improve the quality of life for all the citizens of Michigan City.”

“Contaminated properties are a blight on our ecological and economic landscape,” said Bruno Pigott, Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. “Brownfield grants are a focused effort to clean up these properties and re-engage them as a vital part of Indiana’s economic engine.”

Click here for more information on EPA’s Brownfields program

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