The State of Ohio is now accepting applications for grants to fund the clean-up of the state’s former industrial sites. Established with approximately $350 million from the state’s most recent operating budget bill, the new Brownfield Remediation Program will provide funds for the acquisition of brownfield properties, the demolition of existing facilities at brownfield sites, and the installation of or upgrade to the minimum amount of infrastructure that is necessary to make a brownfield operational for economic development activity.
The majority of the money, approximately $262 million,
will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to projects across the state. To help ensure smaller projects receive awards and to expand the geographic penetration of the program, the remaining funds are dedicated to a set-aside of $1 million for each of the state’s 88 counties. The county set-aside money also will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until June 30, 2022, at which point any unawarded dollars will revert and be added back to the statewide fund.
Eligible applicants include:
- Counties, townships, municipal corporations, port authorities, conservancy districts, park districts or other similar park authorities;
- County land reutilization corporations;
- Nonprofit organizations; and
- Organizations for profit.
Non-governmental applicants must enter into an agreement with local governments to work in conjunction on a brownfield project in order to qualify. Entities that caused or contributed to the contamination of the property are not eligible to apply.
Eligible properties must meet the definition of a "brownfield" – an abandoned, idled, or under-used industrial, commercial, or institutional property where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by known or potential releases of hazardous substances or petroleum.
Applicants can apply for either a cleanup award, which has a maximum potential amount of $10 million, or an assessment award, with a maximum award of $300,000. Awards can be for up to 75% of the total project costs. Matching funds will be required to receive an award from the statewide pool. Only one application per property is allowed.
Your local municipality or county may be available to provide support to your application. For instance, Cuyahoga County has outlined their offer of non-financial support to applicants.
The first round of applications is being accepted by the Ohio Department of Development through January 31, 2022. Second and third rounds may follow in the spring and summer, as needed. The Ohio Department of Development's Brownfield Remediation Program webpage provides additional information and the application.