Michiana Area Council of Governments receives $1.5 million from EPA to improve neighborhoods

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that the Michiana Area Council of Governments (MACOG) is one of three recipients in Indiana to receive brownfields assessment funding in the latest round.

Crawfordsville and DeKalb County received assessment funding and the Indiana Finance Authority received revolving loan funding.

While the Fort Wayne Redevelopment Authority received cleanup funding.

Officials say a total of 181 grants for $231 million were announced nationwide to assess, clean up, and redevelop underutilized properties while protecting public health and the environment.

MACOG is receiving a $1.5 million grant to conduct up to 27 Phase One and up to 35 Phase Two environmental site assessments over the next four years in Elkhart, Kosciusko, Marshall, and St. Joseph Counties.

Officials say MACOG will develop cleanup and reuse plans and conduct community engagement activities.

MACOG is also continuing to partner with its member counties and will add the Tolson Center for Community Excellence to the Regional Brownfields Coalition efforts.

Officials say target areas for the grant are the Benham neighborhood in Elkhart, the Kennedy Park neighborhood in South Bend, the Tinkey Oil site in Warsaw, and small towns with populations with less than 5,000 like the Town of Argos.

"MACOG is excited to continue our momentum in advancing brownfields redevelopment. Our Regional Brownfields Coalition is addressing environmental uncertainty, allowing for the redevelopment of sites that would otherwise continue to languish. Our ongoing efforts since 2019 are making a difference, evidenced by housing projects under construction or completed in Elkhart, Goshen, Plymouth, South Bend, and Warsaw,” said MACOG Executive Director James Turnwald.

According to the EPA, these grant programs will help transform once-polluted, vacant, and abandoned properties into community assets, while helping to create good jobs and spur economic revitalization in overburdened communities.

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