Ohio Brownfield Remediation Fund could see $350 million in funding available for 2023 and 2024 Rounds
The Ohio House passed a substitute budget bill on April 26, 2023, that includes $350 million for the Ohio Brownfield Remediation Fund. This bill is now under review by the Senate. We’re hearing strong optimism that this program will remain in the budget.
If everything goes through as drafted, be prepared for an early fall round of funding for $175 million and another round next year (likely opening 7/1/24) for $175 million. We anticipate that it will be set up like the previous program that will fund up to $300,000 for Phase I and II assessments to help you understand current environmental conditions on the property and up to $10 million for cleanup—including acquisition (up to 10% of grant), remediation, demolition (as long as there is asbestos or if the building needs to be removed to get to the contamination), and certain infrastructure improvements. Up to $1 million is dedicated to projects in each county with no match obligation; all remaining applications will require a 25% match for eligible costs incurred two years prior to the application date or during the grant project period.
What Sites Are Eligible?
Brownfield projects could include old schools, former warehouses, closed factories, or abandoned or underutilized commercial properties, among others.
Who Can Apply?
Lead applicants are anticipated to once again include public, private, or non-profit entities, but all projects must have an authorization resolution or cooperation agreement/letter from a county, township, municipality, port authority, or park district. The local unit of government can likely continue to take a passive role with project implementation if the lead applicant is another entity.
Get Ready Now!
The program is set up in the legislation again as first-come, first-served and we expect a high demand for these dollars. To pursue an assessment grant, we suggest completing a Phase I assessment now that will lead to the preparation of a Phase II Work Plan that will be necessary to properly scope the grant-funded work required for the application. To pursue a cleanup grant, requirements include Phase I, Phase II, Remedial Plan, and Cost Estimate. Note that the property cannot remain in ownership of the person/organization that caused or contributed to the contamination of the property by the time the cleanup work begins, so acquisition or a purchase agreement need to be planned/prepared.
We Can Help!
This is a great opportunity to address brownfields in your community! Contact us for assistance. We can help your team contemplate potential projects, prepare the required technical documents in compliance with the Ohio Voluntary Action Program, and prepare the general application components.
Our Ohio Brownfields Experts
Jenny Carter-Cornell, APR
Jenny is a leader in the funding practice that has helped clients receive more than $400 million in grants and low-interest loans. She served as the lead grant writer to help secure over $150 million for clients and has 29 years of experience working with a variety of brownfields and other environmental and economic development issues. Jenny holds a BS in Journalism with a specialization in Public Relations and a minor in Environmental Studies from Bowling Green State University.
Steven Gross, VAP CP, CPG
Steven has over 30 years of experience managing and implementing hundreds of site assessments and remediation projects. He is an Ohio Voluntary Action Program Certified Professional. Steven has a BS in Geology & Mineralogy from The Ohio State University.
Lindsay Crow is Project Manager and environmental scientist who regularly works with sites regulated by the Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA), Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), Ohio Voluntary Action Program (VAP), Indiana Voluntary Remediation Program (VRP), Bureau of Underground Storage Tank Regulations (BUSTR), and other state-specific programs.
For questions about brownfields or any environmental remediation project, please contact us. We're here to help.
Verdantas experts were pioneers with the Ohio Voluntary Action Program (VAP) and the previous state brownfield funding program. We have directed hundreds of VAP projects since the program’s inception. Verdantas helped our clients prepare 23 grant applications requesting more than $76 million in Rounds 1-3 of the Ohio Brownfield Remediation Fund and 75 grants worth over $124 million through the previous state brownfield funding programs. We are committed to helping our clients address property challenges, oftentimes through transformative brownfield revitalization projects.
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