Brownfields are abandoned or under-used industrial and commercial properties with actual or perceived contamination and an active potential or redevelopment.
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency of Brownfields Assistance (OBA) manages the brownfields grant and loan programs and offers technical support to communities through the services of its Brownfields Representatives.
City leaders who are eager to return brownfields properties to productive use soon find it can be a complicated process. Local governments may lack the expertise and resources needed to locate funding, negotiate property transactions, perform environmental investigations and cleanups, and resolve legal concerns. Staff from the OBA, called Brownfields Representatives, regularly assist cities in taking on those vacant factories and closed gas stations.
Brownfields Representatives will travel to communities and sit down with city leaders upon request to:
The Municipal Brownfields Redevelopment Grant Program offers grants worth a maximum of $240,000 each to municipalities to investigate and clean up brownfields properties. Grants may be used to perform environmental site assessments and fund actual cleanup activities. Grant recipients are required to share in any grant award through a 70/30 match.
The OBA steers municipalities to brownfield grant opportunities, reviews and approves grant applications, observes grant activities, and reviews reimbursement requests.
The Illinois Brownfields Redevelopment Loan Program offers low interest loans to support efforts by local governments and private parties to clean up brownfields sites that have already been assessed for contamination. These cleanups take place under the Illinois EPA's voluntary Site Remediation Program. The loans will pay for limited investigation, remediation, and demolition costs at brownfields sites. The maximum loan amount for any single loan application is $500,000.
The OBA administers the loan program, which includes soliciting loan applications and managing funds.
Office of Brownfields Assistance
Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
1021 North Grand Avenue East
P.O. Box 19276
Springfield, IL 62794-9276