Brownfields

2015 Brownfields Assessment and Cleanup Grants

EPA’s Brownfields Assessment and Cleanup grants may be used to address sites contaminated by petroleum and hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants (including hazardous substances co-mingled with petroleum). Opportunities for funding include Brownfields Assessment Grants (each funded up to $200,000 over three years; Assessment Coalitions are funded up to $600,000 over three years) and Brownfields Cleanup Grants (each funded up to $200,000 over three years). Explore and apply here.

Application Deadline: December 19, 2014

Redevelopment in Milwaukee’s Menomonee Valley: What Worked and Why?

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The revitalization of Milwaukee’s Menomonee Valley as an industrial, recreational, and entertainment district has been lauded both locally and nationally as a successful and sustainable urban redevelopment project. In this report, the Public Policy Forum explores how the Valley’s major improvements over the last 15 years were achieved, including an examination of the public policies, financial resources, and partnerships that were crucial to the redevelopment effort.

The purpose of this research effort is not to evaluate the success of Valley redevelopment. Indeed, we start with the premise that Valley redevelopment has been successful. Our objective, instead, is to identify and analyze the ingredients of success so that consideration can be given to replicating them elsewhere. Through analysis of Valley data and documents, and through an extensive series of interviews with public and private sector leaders, we are able to cite the major barriers that inhibited Valley redevelopment, and examine the policies, activities, and strategies that helped to overcome those barriers and facilitate private sector investments.

The report begins with a brief overview of the economic, environmental, and community improvements that have occurred in the Menomonee Valley since the late 1990s. We then explore the work that brought about those outcomes by examining five “success factors” deemed critical to the Valley’s revitalization, and by presenting four major Valley projects as case studies.

Webinar: Reuse Opportunities at Capped Superfund Sites

July 16, 2014, 1-3 PM CDT
Register here

Former landfills, abandoned dumps and other contaminated sites throughout the United States were once thought to be of limited or no value. Today, these sites are being transformed into viable commercial and industrial developments, recreational areas and wildlife areas. With forethought, coordination with regulatory agencies, and effective planning, communities and site stakeholders can return sites to productive use without jeopardizing the effectiveness of a remedial cap put into place to protect human health and the environment. Reuse can provide long-term benefits for the local community, the local government, site owners and even for EPA through continued site stewardship after remedial efforts are complete. This webinar will share examples and lessons learned from the effective assessment and successful reuse of capped sites.

From mines to megawatts: The promise of ‘conflict-free Big Solar’

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Arizona startup Green Energy Storage wants to transform an abandoned open-pit copper mine 45 miles south of Phoenix into a large-scale solar power and pumped-hydro storage facility.

Although still in the early days of development, the project (PDF), first pitched to federal energy regulators two weeks ago, could become a model for conflict-free Big Solar.

After all, contaminated former industrial sites and other degraded lands represent a relatively untapped opportunity for developers to steer clear of the litigious environmental conflicts and tradeoffs associated with large-scale solar power in ecologically sensitive and pristine areas.

How the Power of Cooperation Transformed a Vacant Lot in South Chicago

Read the full post at Shareable.

In 2003, the Environmental Protection Agency remediated a piece of vacant land in the Pullman neighborhood, which is located on the far South Side of Chicago near the Indiana border. The area was left vacant after a Sherwin Williams processing plant closed, and the building burnt down in the 1990’s. Like many vacant lots in cities across America, the land at 114th and Langley became a haven for crime and was contaminated with toxic chemicals. That is until Sunday, September 22nd when members and supporters of the Coop Op unveiled their new garden and community resource.

U of C computer researchers will have a hand in South Works remake

Read the full story in Crain’s Chicago Business.

Crain’s takes a look at a project called LakeSim that will help planners at Skidmore Owings & Merrill remake the massive old U.S. Steel South Works plant on the Far South Side. By marrying computer-assisted design software with computer-modeling software, computer researchers at the Computation Institute run by the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory will help planners see how design changes in buildings, infrastructure or even zoning will impact energy and water usage, stormwater management and transportation demands nearby and throughout other parts of the city.