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About Brownfields Redevelopment
Cuyahoga County has successfully administered three(United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S.EPA) brownfield assessment grants ($2.6 million) along with five U.S.EPA revolving loan fund grants ($4.5 million) since 2000. U.S.EPA defines brownfields as real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. Cleaning up and reinvesting in these properties takes development pressures off of undeveloped, open land, and both improves and protects the environment.
Cuyahoga County Department of Development, Brownfield Redevelopment Programs provide assistance and expertise in returning brownfield sites to viable community and economic assets in the near future and protect the County’s remaining open spaces. These programs work in conjunction with the Western Reserve Fund to achieve the following objectives:
- Create and Retain Jobs
- Generate New Sources of Revenue for the County, Schools, and Local Governments
- Encourage and “Jump-Start” Brownfield Redevelopment
- Protect County Residents and the Environment
Cuyahoga County is the largest county in the State of Ohio with over 1.2 million residents and 293,441 acres of land. The Cuyahoga County Planning Commission has estimated that approximately 40,000 acres, or 14% of the county's total land area, have historically been devoted to the kinds of industrial and commercial activities which could result in environmental contamination.
Many of the brownfields that do exist in the County are quite sizable, blighted, obsolete, and/or have no prospect of redevelopment without public support and intervention because of the environmental and financial risks and liabilities inherent in their redevelopment.
Land use statistics generated by the County’s Planning Commission reveal that very little undeveloped land remains in Cuyahoga County. Nearly 95% of available land has been developed at least once. Cuyahoga County is to continue to sustain viable neighborhoods, healthy commercial areas, and employment opportunities for its citizens; it must find the resources to address the environmental issues that accompany land reuse. Clearly, brownfields assessment and cleanup are key components in this endeavor.
The County Department of Development has invested over $33 million in 41 projects through the Brownfield Redevelopment Fund
. The Return on Investment, which is measured through loan repayments, sales taxes, property taxes and income taxes, is projected to exceed $60 million.
The County Department of Development has invested over $4.5 million in 12 projects through the USEPA Brownfield Revolving Loan Fund
. This investment has leveraged over $291,000,000 in additional funding.
The County Department of Development has invested over $4.1 million in 140 projects through the
Community Assessment Initiative
The Northcoast Brownfield Coalition
The Northcoast Brownfield Coalition (NBC) is a unique partnership between Cuyahoga County, the City of Cleveland, the Cleveland-Cuyahoga Port Authority, Cuyahoga County Board of Health, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District and the Northeast Ohio First Suburbs Consortium. The coalition was formed and recently expanded its membership to build a strong alliance and focus limited resources on brownfield redevelopment in Cuyahoga County. Because of this partnership, the NBC can combine synergies on many assessment projects along with increasing our ability to apply for larger federal grants that may be more successful in attracting redevelopment funds to the region than if the partners acted alone.
The formation of the coalition has laid the foundation for a collaborative approach in returning brownfield sites to viable community and economic assets in the near future. The Coalition partners review all incoming Community Assessment Initiative applications and refer potential projects for consideration to the County Executive.
Cuyahoga County Place Matters
Cuyahoga County PLACE MATTERS (CCPM)
currently has representation in the Northcoast Brownfield Coalition that assists us in our vision to Inform, Influence and Engage policy makers and community members to create conditions for optimal health and reduce inequities; and to utilize “place-based” interventions to engage and empower residents in under-resourced communities to revitalize their communities. The Coalition assessment funds are essential in implementing CCPM guiding principals to improve health outcomes and reduce inequities, allowing our urban communities to thrive.