EPA Grants Money for Clean-up Projects
5/29/13 — After three attempts northwest Indiana’s Regional Development Authority is getting a $1-million grant by the United States Environmental Protection Agency to clean up contaminated sites in Gary, Hammond and East Chicago.
East Chicago Mayor Anthony Copeland says that while many communities are searching for money to develop and clean up contaminated properties, northwest Indiana has just made a big win, “I tell people it’s a Godsend in these strapped times for cash when you’re looking to develop some of our hardest developing sites.”
Mayor Copeland is excited about an $800,000 EPA grant awarded for the establishment of a $1-million revolving loan fund for brownfields remediation in Gary, Hammond and East Chicago. EPA Region 5 Administrator Susan Hedman says, “Contaminated sites can be turned into shops and housing and recreational areas with the minimum amount of investment in the minimum amount of time.”
The Regional Development Authority was one of 240 grant recipients that will receive funds from a $63-million EPA brownfields assessment. Indiana’s First District U.S. Representative Pete Visclosky says it may seem like a small amount of money, but other developments in northwest Indiana were created with a lot less. “We are here at Lost Marsh; it was a $400,000 grant by EPA to do the assessment that led to over $42-million being invested in this site.”
Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson says local residents will see big changes in Gary’s business district, “We have targeted our money or chosen to target our efforts at the Downtown area specifically at the Sheridan hotel as well as at the Buffington Harbor.”