Congresswoman Kaptur said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded Toledo $200,000 to help develop an area-wide strategy to develop the Overland Industrial Park in conjunction with the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority.
 
“This award demonstrates the federal commitment to helping make the Overland Industrial Park a successful engine for job growth in our city,” Congresswoman Kaptur said.
 
Toledo was one of only 20 projects across the country to share in the EPA’s $4 million Brownfields Area-Wide Planning program, which seeks to help communities develop abandoned and potentially contaminated waste sites.
 
Congresswoman Kaptur noted that recent announcement that Airgas will construct the first new building on the 111-acre site and create 25 new jobs.
 
“The Overland location, with improved interchange access off I-75, represents a win-win for all stakeholders," said Congresswoman Kaptur. "This public-private partnership can help us reuse this prime property at the most-travelled nexus in our entire Northwest Ohio region."
 
With assistance from Congresswoman Kaptur and the USEPA, the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority acquired the historic property in 2010.
 
The city will conduct community involvement activities, existing conditions research and also brownfields site reuse planning that will lead to a plan to help attract businesses.
 
EPA's Brownfields Program empowers states, communities, and other stakeholders to work together to prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse brownfields. A brownfield site is 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.
 
Congress, with Congresswoman Kaptur's support, passed the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act in 2002 to help communities around the country clean up and revitalize sites.  Under this law, EPA provides financial assistance through competitive grant programs for site assessment, cleanup, area-wide planning, and job training.
 
“The area-wide planning approach recognizes that revitalization of the area surrounding the brownfield site is critical to the successful reuse of the property as cleanup and redevelopment of an individual site,"  said Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. "The locally-driven planning process will help the commuinity create a shared vision for and commitment to revitalization.”
 
The federal EPA launched the program in 2010 to adopt a broader approach to existing brownfields grant programs. Since its inception, EPA brownfields investments have leveraged more than $19 billion in cleanup and redevelopment.  Over the years, the investment of federal funding has leveraged more than 87,000 jobs from both public and private sources.
 

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