The Northeast Indiana Brownfield Coalition, comprised of seven area counties (Adams, Allen excluding Ft. Wayne, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wells, and Whitley excluding Columbia City) has received a Brownfields Coalition Grant from the EPA to conduct environmental assessments of potential brownfield properties within the coalition counties. The overall goal of the Brownfield Coalition is to promote economic development in the form of expansion, redevelopment, or development at potential brownfield sites.
A brownfield has been defined as a parcel of real estate that is abandoned, inactive, or underutilized and on which expansion or redevelopment is complicated because of the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, a contaminant, petroleum, or a petroleum product that poses a risk to human health or the environment. These properties are likely not generating optimum income for their owners, but are still costing the owner in the form of taxes, maintenance, and the like. The coalition’s goal is to help these sites become more viable for economic growth.
EPA funding must be used to assess, not remediate, brownfields potentially contaminated with petroleum or hazardous substances. The EPA funding can be utilized for Phase I and/or Phase II environmental assessments, as well as Remedial Action Plans. A Phase I is an on-site survey and records check to identify potential contamination. Phase II collects and analyzes construction materials and soil samples to confirm the existence, type, and the extent of contamination. A Remedial Action Plan develops a plan for cleaning up and/or containing the contaminants (remediation).
The Northeast Indiana Brownfield Coalition is currently seeking properties to be assessed. An informational brochure providing information on the Brownfield Coalition and this process can be downloaded at www.region3a.org and www. nircc.com.
For additional information, owners of property located in LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, and Whitley excluding Columbia City should contact Dave Gee with Region III-A at (260) 347-4714 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For properties located in Adams, Allen excluding Ft. Wayne, and Wells, contact Matt Vondran with NIRCC at (260) 449-7903 or email@example.com.
Anyone who has a property he or she would like to submit for consideration for brownfield assessment in one of the coalition counties and who would like a submittal form should contact the appropriate team leader listed above.