Jeane’ Holley, (216) 698-254
CLEVELAND – Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish announced that the Cuyahoga County Department of Development, on behalf of its Northcoast Brownfield Coalition partnership, will receive a $500,000 USEPA Community-Wide Brownfields Assessment coalition grant to continue its work on environmental assessments leading to urban brownfield clean-up and revitalization throughout the County for 2015 and beyond. The County’s Department of Development leads a regional coalition of the City of Cleveland, the First Suburbs Consortium, and the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, known as the Northcoast Brownfield Coalition (NcBC), and manages the coalition’s Community Assessments Initiative (CAI) program for brownfields redevelopment.
“We are extremely pleased to be the recipient of this major $500,000 USEPA award to be utilized for our Community Assessments Initiative program,” said Interim Director of Development Nate Kelly. “Revitalization of our underutilized assets in land and property is a top priority of County Executive Budish’s administration. Not only are these sites eventually remediated and redeveloped for the creation of jobs, but environmental justice is served by eliminating deleterious health effects for our communities and their residents.”
The coalition was formed in 2003, and the County has been facilitating the assessment program work since 1994. The nationally recognized CAI program serves to “jumpstart” the redevelopment of contaminated brownfields through professional certified assessments of environmental conditions (such as Phase I and Phase II reports), which enable end users to determine highest and best use for the subject properties and eventually redevelop them. To date the CAI program's brownfield assessment activity has invested over $4 million to assess 165 sites and a total of 4,200 acres, leading to numerous sites being remediated and cleaned for redevelopment and an estimated 9,300 jobs retained or created in Cuyahoga County.
CAI assessment projects leading to major clean-ups, redevelopments, and job creation have included: The Flats East Bank, the Miceli Dairy expansion, the Fairmont Creamery mixed-use redevelopment, the Great Lakes Towing Shipyard expansion, the Baker Electric Building, and MidTown Tech Park. Strategically-based target areas to receive attention through this $500,000 Coalition Assessments grant will include the Opportunity Corridor, the East 185th Street Corridor and various sites within the inner-ring First Suburbs.
In its press release announcing the competitive 2015 national awards recipients, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) explained its selection of grants to 147 communities across the U.S. It stated that “this investment will provide communities with funding necessary to assess clean up and redevelop contaminated properties, boost local economies and leverage jobs while protecting public health and the environment”.