Will County Brownfield Assessment Grant Program
Will County History and Brownfield Redevelopment
In the late 1800s Will County became known for mining and then steel production. In the early 1900s, the region’s economic base shifted from coal and limestone mining to steel production. In the early 1930s, the region shifted again to refinery development and soon after WWII military production.
In the 1970s and 1980s, the area known as the “rust belt” suffered changing economic conditions. Large manufacturers like the Joliet Army Ammunition Plant, US Steel, and Caterpillar closed.
Brownfield redevelopment has been targeted to address environmental and human health issues left in blighted areas left behind by closure of industrial developments, which were often located along Will County’s waterways. Redevelopment will encourage growth in abandoned, historically industrial sections of the County’s communities. Note: This program grant does not fund demolition, remediation, or cleanup activities. However, the reports generated through this program can be utilized to secure other grant funding for these activities.
Brownfield In the News
The Will County Center for Economic Development (CED) will be hosting public meetings on Tuesday, November 14th in Joliet and Lockport to share information and invite community participation in the Will County Brownfields Program.
Will County Center for Economic Development Awarded $400,000 Brownfields Assessment Grant by U.S. EPA
The Will County Center for Economic Development is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a $400,000 Brownfields Assessment grant from the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
First Steps: Site inventory, Assessments & Outreach
Beginning October 1, 2023, we will begin working with residents living in the target areas during community meetings to create a thorough site inventory for assessment. Although initial sites were identified in the grant proposal, abandoned, and underutilized properties identified during community outreach activities will be researched further by CED staff and grant consultants to evaluate their qualifications for inclusion in the determination of eligibility.
Brownfields Eligibility Determination
Brownfields eligibility determination is a very complex process, sometimes not straightforward, and thorough evaluation with the environmental consultant’s assistance is required. EPA review and approval is required.
- There is no viable responsible party, i.e. there may be potential contamination at the site. However, based on the available information, either the responsible party is nowhere to be found or it is not clear who the responsible party is or the responsible party is not financially capable.
- The site is not subject to a corrective action order under Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.
- The site was acquired with All Appropriate Inquiry or involuntarily (tax closure, abandonment, etc.) or the site was acquired prior to a certain timeframe.
- The current and immediate past owner did not dispose of contamination and/or exacerbate the contamination.
- The site is not on or proposed to be on the National Priority List.
- There are several other factors that need to be thoroughly evaluated with the environmental consultant’s assistance. If necessary, discussions will be conducted with EPA.
Community Benefit & Outreach
Community engagement and participation is crucial to the success of this Assessment Grant.
Community meetings will keep the public informed on project plans and provide project updates. Interested property owners and residents can receive more information, suggest potential sites, and ask questions. Watch for our community meeting dates to be published on this website or sign up/stay in touch below to be notified.