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Two Detroit communities receive more than $1.3 million in grants from EPA

Jun 13, 2019

From Brian Vosburg, Brownfield Redevelopment Manager

The DEGC is proud to announce the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has selected a coalition led by the Wayne County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, in partnership with the Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (DBRA) and the Detroit Wayne County Port Authority (DWCPA), to receive grant awards through the Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup Grant Programs. The City of Detroit’s Environmental Affairs Division was also selected for two additional awards. The funds, totaling $1,336,742, have been awarded by the EPA to assist economically disadvantaged communities in what the EPA deems as “opportunity zones” in an effort to revitalize abandoned properties.

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler noted the grants have helped communities in need by transforming contaminated sites into community assets – not only creating jobs and jumpstarting economic development, but also improving public health and the environment.

“We are targeting these funds for areas that need them the most. Approximately 40 percent of the selected recipients are receiving Brownfield grants for the first time, which means we are reaching areas that may have previously been neglected, and 108 of the selected communities have identified sites or targeted areas for redevelopment that fall within Opportunity Zones,” said Wheeler.

Wayne County and the City of Detroit have received 18 EPA Brownfield grants over the last 20 years, which have greatly impacted our communities. The grants have been used in the past to investigate and clean up properties along the Detroit River, including the old Globe Building site, which is now the Michigan DNR Outdoor Adventure Center. They have also led to the construction of supportive housing for homeless veterans, a medical supply distribution center, and the Detroit Riverwalk.

Assistance with assessing environmental issues has been the top request received by the DBRA for several years. This award to the Wayne County Coalition that includes the DBRA will supply critical funding to help jumpstart neighborhood redevelopment projects through environmental assessments in the Delray, Boynton, and Oakwood Heights neighborhoods of Detroit as well as the neighboring city of River Rouge.

The grant award to the City of Detroit will help fund:

  • Cleanup of Riverside Park
  • Investigation of environmental conditions at abandoned properties on the east side with a history of automotive manufacturing and other industrial activities
  • Determining if contamination exists in support of Detroit’s plans to stabilize housing, increase space for businesses and improve parks
  • Removal of contaminated soils to provide public access to open green space near neighborhoods

“These funds will allow us to continue the revitalization and reuse of contaminated properties and stimulate economic development opportunities particularly along commercial corridors within Detroit’s neighborhoods,” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “The cleanup grant will expedite the reopening of Detroit’s beloved Riverside Park.”

As the DEGC continues to create opportunities and prosperity in Detroit, we are excited to continue to work with our economic development partners at the EPA, Wayne County, the Detroit Wayne County Port Authority, and the City of Detroit to utilize these grants to improve the city we love.

For more information on the DEGC, visit www.degc.org.

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