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Brownfields Assessment Grant Community Outreach Begins

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.

The CED was awarded a USEPA Brownfields Assessment Grant in the amount of $400,000 to assist with identification and clean-up of brownfield sites in Will County. Brownfield sites are those contaminated by hazardous substances, pollutants, and contaminants. Once remediated, former brownfield properties can be redeveloped into a variety of productive uses.

The grant provides funding to identify sites and conduct a range of planning activities, develop site specific clean-up plans, and complete Phase I and Phase II environmental engineering for qualified sites, with a special emphasis on the Des Plaines River corridor in Will County. The Lockport meeting will take place at City Hall at 9 a.m. and the Joliet meeting will be held at the Joliet Public Library Ottawa Street Branch at 4 p.m.

The Center for Economic Development worked closely with the communities of Joliet, Lockport, and Rockdale and the County of Will through the application process. These communities helped develop an outstanding case highlighting Will County’s need to address the environmental and human health issues in brownfield areas.

Beginning in November, we will begin working with residents living in the target areas during community meetings to create a thorough site inventory for assessment. Properties identified during community outreach activities will be researched further to evaluate their qualifications for inclusion in the determination of eligibility.

Community engagement is crucial to the success of this Assessment Grant. Therefore, community meetings are being planned to 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.

Additional grant and meeting information can be found at www.willcountybrownfields.com. Registration is preferred, but not required.

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