Budzinski Announces $6.6 Million in EPA Brownfield Cleanup Funding

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Congresswoman Nikki Budzinski (IL-13) announced that the cities of Springfield and Decatur will be receiving a combined $6,652,300 in brownfield cleanup funding from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These funds will go directly toward efforts to clean up and revitalize contaminated sites. 

“All too often, abandoned sites contaminated with pollutants and toxic materials hold communities back from revitalization and economic growth,” said Congresswoman Budzinski. “Today, I’m thrilled to announce that Springfield’s Moving Pillsbury Forward project and Decatur’s efforts to redevelop the Jasper Street and MLK Corridors will be receiving a combined $6.6 million in federal funding from the Environmental Protection Agency. I look forward to seeing these funds help to remove health hazards and pave the way for new growth in our communities.” 

As defined by the EPA, brownfields are properties that may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant. It is estimated that there are more than 450,000 brownfields in the U.S. Cleaning up and reinvesting in these properties increases local tax bases, facilitates job growth, utilizes existing infrastructure, takes development pressures off of undeveloped, open land and both improves and protects the environment.

A breakdown of the funding awarded and descriptions of each grant can be found below:

  • $2,652,300 for Moving Pillsbury Forward, Springfield, IL – Brownfields Cleanup Grant

The EPA has selected Moving Pillsbury Forward for a Brownfields Cleanup Grant that will be funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Grant funds will be used to clean up Buildings B, C, D and G of the Former Pillsbury Plant located at 1525 E. Phillips Avenue in the City of Springfield. The 18-acre complex was formerly used for large-scale grain milling, manufacturing and warehousing operations from approximately 1929 to 2001. It has since fallen into disrepair and several buildings have been demolished. The site is now contaminated with inorganic contaminants and metals. Grant funds also will be used to develop fact sheets, provide website updates, and conduct public meetings. Last year, Budzinski announced $787,000 in EPA funding for the Moving Pillsbury Forward project. Earlier this year she secured an additional $1 million in Community Project Funding and to support redevelopment of the site. 

  • $500,000 for Decatur, IL – Brownfields Assessment Grant 

EPA has selected the City of Decatur for a Brownfields Assessment Grant. Community-wide grant funds will be used to update and maintain a site inventory and conduct 12 Phase I and four Phase II environmental site assessments. Grant funds also will be used to support community engagement activities and develop reuse plans for the Jasper Street and MLK Corridors, which are the target areas for this grant. Priority sites include three former gas stations, the 21.5-acre former Prairie Farms Manufacturing campus and the 9-acre former Tire One fuel transfer station and distribution center. 

In addition to the investments in Springfield and Decatur, the EPA has also granted $3,500,000 to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfield Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) which has successfully made loans or subgrants leading to 22 cleanup projects that are either completed or in progress. Potential projects highlighted for use of the funding include sites located in Springfield, North Chicago, and Waukegan. This funding will expand the ability of the program to provide funding for more cleanups in the most underserved areas in the state of Illinois.

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