Visclosky Announces EPA Brownfields Grant for Gary, Hammond, and East Chicago
Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Pete Visclosky announced that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded a grant through their Brownfields Program that will improve areas in Gary, Hammond, and East Chicago. The grant was awarded to a coalition that included the Northwest Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC), the Northwest Indiana Forum Foundation, and the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA).
The $600,000 grant award will be used to conduct environmental site assessments, prepare cleanup plans, and implement community outreach activities. In general, the EPA Brownfields Program aims to allow states, communities, and stakeholders to work together to prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse brownfields. Additionally, according to the EPA, a brownfield site is a property in which the redevelopment or reuse of it may be complicated by the presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.
Congressman Pete Visclosky stated, “I am grateful for the years of consistent and dedicated efforts of NIRPC, the Northwest Indiana Forum, and the RDA, to grow our regional economy and improve our quality of place. I congratulate all of them for working together on this latest effort and securing this EPA grant that is critical to cleaning up our environment and creating the necessary conditions to further draw new businesses and people to Northwest Indiana.”
NIRPC Executive Director Ty Warner stated, “The need for brownfield redevelopment in Northwest Indiana is great. Progress has been made with brownfields in Gary, Hammond, and East Chicago through previous EPA grants, and this new grant will enable us to keep moving forward there while also working to address brownfield challenges throughout Lake, Porter, and LaPorte Counties. We’re very grateful to have the support of this EPA funding to continue the momentum to make Northwest Indiana an attractive and clean place to do business and grow a regional economy.”
Northwest Indiana Forum President and CEO Heather Ennis stated, “Brownfield redevelopment is a critical economic development focus for the Northwest Indiana region. By partnering with the RDA and NIRPC, the Forum is excited to implement great projects in Northwest Indiana with this EPA brownfield grant.”
“This grant will make a real difference in Northwest Indiana,” said Bill Hanna, President and CEO of the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority. “We know this from experience: in 2014, the RDA received $1.4 million from the EPA for assessment and cleanup efforts in Gary, Hammond, and East Chicago. That has helped to pay for assessment and clean up planning on about 27 sites, and cleanup actions at approximately 30 locations. One site in East Chicago is now a dialysis center and another will soon be more than 200 units of senior housing. I congratulate Congressman Visclosky, NIRPC, the Forum, and of course the RDA’s great staff, on securing more funds to drive job creation, economic development, and a better quality of life in the region.”
For additional information on the EPA Brownfields Program, click here.