President Donald Trump’s proposed cuts to the U.S. EPA are raising concerns about federal help for cleaning up and reclaiming brownfields. One organization closely watching the potential loss of funding helps developers with brownfield sites in Summit County.
The Summit Brownfields Revitalization Program has received two $600,000 EPA grants since 2012 to help developers assess the level of contamination in a potential site. Joe Hadely is Executive Director of the Northeast Ohio Four County Regional Planning Organization which runs the brownfield program. He says losing the federal funding would make it harder for developers to finance a project.
“It’s going to be very difficult for a developer to receive funding from a bank because a bank’s not going to loan when it’s not sure what the real threat is within a particular building or site.”
Hadley says his organization has applied for another assessment grant which would start in October. He says the cuts would hamper many local government efforts to revitalize contaminated areas where factories once operated.