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Press Release

Seal of the County Commissioners

Cuyahoga County Department of Development
112 Hamilton Court
Cleveland, OH 44114

For more general information contact:
Paul Oyaski 216.443.7535

County Receives $1 million USEPA Grant

For Immediate Release
Cuyahoga County
April 8, 2009

Cuyahoga County Awarded a $1 Million U.S. EPA Grant to Continue Redeveloping Brownfields The United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) announced today that the Northcoast Brownfield Coalition, which consists of the Cuyahoga County Board of Commissioners through the their Department of Development, the City of Cleveland through their Department of Economic Development, and the Cleveland-Cuyahoga Port Authority, is receiving $1 million in federal funding for environmental site assessments.

The Coalition is planning on utilizing a significant portion of the grant on environmental
assessments that will be administered through the County’s existing Community Assessment Initiative Program. This program, which has been funded in the past by the U.S.EPA, provides monies to eligible applicants for the assessment of vacant, abandoned, or otherwise underutilized properties located throughout the County. Based on the distribution of the County’s previous U.S. EPA assessment grants, it is anticipated that 60% of the funds will be spent in the City of Cleveland, 30% throughout the remainder of the County and 10% in the Port’s proposed International Trade District.

Cuyahoga County implemented the Community Assessment Initiative in 2003 with a
$400,000 U.S.EPA Assessment Grant and has received an additional $1,200,000 in three subsequent funding rounds. The Community Assessment Initiative is a key component to the County’s brownfield strategy by characterizing and assessing a variety of brownfield sites contaminated with hazardous substances and/or petroleum so they can be cleaned up and redeveloped. These funds provide a critical up-front service needed to jump start new projects.

The County to date has conducted environmental assessments on 72 sites located in 18 different communities comprising approximately 1,790 acres. Furthermore, the County has invested $29.3 million into 37 environmental cleanup projects, which leveraged over $300 million in additional project investment and remediated over 296 acres. These projects have created or retained over 2,100 jobs and increased property values by $16 million. In addition, the County’s Department of Development has secured $21.8 million in federal and state brownfield funding, since 2003.

With minimum public investment, brownfield projects can result in clean, affordable land for new developments, reduce neighborhood blight, preserve greenspace, generate tax revenues for schools, and create jobs. U.S.EPA funds will help the Coalition as a whole and as individual organizations to realize a better economic and environmental future for our area. The County Commissioners recognize a need for public assistance to redevelop brownfields in our community. The County’s  Brownfield Redevelopment Fund and Community Assessment Initiative were created to address this need. More information about the Cuyahoga County Brownfield Program is located at www.brownfields.cuyahogacounty.us.