Fehr Graham gets clients millions in brownfield cleanup grants

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced more than $315 million from President Joe Biden's Investing in America Agenda to expedite brownfield assessment and cleanup projects. Fehr Graham helped clients secure more than $5 million, including Illinois' largest cleanup grant.

The EPA selected 262 communities to receive 267 grants that totaled more than $215 million in brownfield funding through the Multipurpose, Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund and Cleanup (MARC) Grant programs. This is the largest amount awarded in the funding's history.

Fehr Graham achieved significant results for several clients during this funding cycle. Our grant funding team submitted six Cleanup Grant applications and won all six for its clients. Notably, Fehr Graham played a significant role in securing six of the nine awards Illinois received.

Fehr Graham clients received funding for the following projects:

  • The City of Freeport secured the largest cleanup grant in the state at $1,757,730. This money will be used to clean up the former One Hour Martinizing Cleaners and Aloha Tattoo site on West Main Street. Both buildings were constructed in 1897. Through the years they operated as a furniture store, warehouse, dry cleaner, camera shop, drug store, boot and shoe shop, and tattoo parlor. Both buildings are condemned and have been vacant since 2016. The site is contaminated with volatile organic compounds, metals and inorganic contaminants. The money will also be used for community engagement.
  • The City of Danville will get $983,606 to clean up a 1.14-acre property at the former First Farmer's Bank & Trust, former Fonner's Dry Cleaners, former apartment building property and four former residences on Vermilion and Hazel streets. The site is contaminated with tetrachloroethylene and petroleum. Funding will also support community meetings and public engagement.
  • The City of Dixon secured $767,900 to continue cleaning up the Dixon Iron & Metals Company (DIMCO) site. The 3.13-acre site served as an industrial site in the late 1890s with historical uses, including carpentry, lumber, coal, gravel, warehousing and a junkyard. The site operated as a junkyard/scrap metal recycling facility from about 1910-2017. It is contaminated with PCBs, volatile organic compounds, semi-volatile organic compounds, petroleum, free product light nonaqueous phase liquid, heavy metals and inorganic contaminants. The money will also be used to conduct meetings, provide website updates and create fact sheets.
  • Moving Pillsbury Forward secured $787,135 to continue work at the former Pillsbury Mills site in Springfield. The 18-acre site was developed with numerous grain silos and structures used for grain milling, manufacturing, warehousing and offices. The area surrounding the site consists of a railyard and residential properties. Since the facility closed in 2021, the site has fallen into disrepair. It is contaminated with heavy metals and inorganic contaminants. The grant will also be used to conduct public meetings, prepare meeting summaries, make website updates and develop fact sheets.
  • The City of South Beloit secured $311,400 to clean up the CSB Shirley Avenue property on Shirland Avenue. The site has a long history of manufacturing and industrial uses, including refrigeration equipment assembly, steel fabrication, an automotive body shop and a food distribution warehouse. The site has been vacant since the facility was demolished in 2007 and is contaminated with petroleum. Funds will also be used to support community outreach.
  • The City of Sterling secured $500,000 to clean up the former Lawrence Brothers Hardware site. The 3.5-acre site operated as a hardware manufacturer for nearly 100 years and has been vacant and unused since 2006. It is contaminated with metals and inorganic contaminants. The grant will also be used for community engagement.

The EPA also announced $45 million in funding to 22 Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) grant programs to expedite work at sites across the country by extending the program's funding capacity. Five Brownfields Technical Assistance Providers and three Brownfield Research Grants were also announced and received $55 million to strengthen technical assistance.

Many communities under economic stress, particularly those in areas that have experienced long periods of disinvestment, lack the resources needed to initiate brownfield cleanup and redevelopment projects. As brownfield sites are transformed into community assets, they attract jobs, promote economic revitalization and transform communities into sustainable places.

Funding helps communities overcome and address the economic, social and environmental challenges caused by brownfields. Fehr Graham has a long history of helping clients secure funding for brownfield redevelopment.

See all of the MARC recipients here