The Port Awards Brownfield Site Assessments through U.S. EPA Grant

Redeveloping an 8.3-acre property on Chestnut Street is a priority for City Manager Dave Kennedy at the City of Loveland. Environmental cleanup with a goal of developing the site was included in the 2002 Loveland Comprehensive Plan Update and the City is committed to pursuing it. “With the Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessments and a Remedial Action Plan, facilitated by The Port, we are beginning to the see the light at the end of the tunnel to pursue development of this land,” shared Kennedy.

Loveland acquired two parcels on Riverside Drive in 1979 and the third on Chestnut in 1994. The City has combated illegal dumping on the site, which was home to a sand and gravel quarry in the early 1900s, for decades. Dumping is believed to have been committed by adjacent automotive and tire businesses over many years while the groundwater beneath the property may have been contaminated by a nearby dry cleaning business.

“This property is a tremendous opportunity for infill development that complements Loveland’s downtown district and industrial park,” said Kennedy. “Our goal is to utilize this property to its fullest, create new jobs and create a well-rounded business climate for the City. The property has access to Loveland Madeira Road through an easement.”

U.S. EPA Brownfield Assessment Grant Process

In July 2018, Hull and Associates submitted the City of Loveland’s U.S. EPA Brownfield Assessment grant application to The Port.

Each grant application submitted to The Port is evaluated by an internal Brownfield Assessment Review Committee. If it is selected, the application is then reviewed by an external committee. After approval by both committees, the application is sent to the project manager in U.S. EPA Region 5 for an Eligibility Evaluation. After The Port receives word that the project is eligible, the applicant is notified. This entire process can take up to 8 weeks. The City of Loveland’s grant was approved in September 2018.

The Phase 1 and Phase 2 Environmental Site Assessments of the Chestnut Street property are being completed by Terracon Environmental & Geotechnical Services in addition to a Remedial Action Plan (RAP). The completion of these assessments and the RAP, funded by The Port, will allow the City of Loveland to take a significant step forward for the future development of the Chestnut Street property, while doing so in full compliance with state and federal environmental laws.

Redevelopment for Economic Opportunity

The property is a strong candidate for positive growth and holds promise for economic opportunity for the City of Loveland and Hamilton County. Redevelopment would result in an increased tax base, increased jobs and reduced environmental health and safety risks upon remediation. The City plans to use Phase I and 2 assessments, and the RAP, in addition to clean up, to pursue a Covenant-Not-to-Sue (CNS) through the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s Voluntary Action Program. “City Council is committed to doing this project the right way and we’re hopeful we will secure a CNS,” commented Kennedy.

Julie Banner, Senior Development Associate at The Port, encourages municipalities, community development corporations (CDCs), jurisdictions and community councils to apply for site assessments. “Making underutilized, contaminated land development-ready is a key component of The Port’s industrial revitalization strategy and our effort to bring new, good-paying jobs to Hamilton County,” shared Banner. “We are continuously reviewing applications for assessments that can be funded by the Hazardous Substance and Petroleum Assessment Grant.”

Of the $300,000 Hazardous Substance and Petroleum Assessment Grant from the U.S. EPA that is administered by The Port, $200,000 is available for Hazardous Substance projects and $100,000 is available for Petroleum projects.

“Working with Julie and The Port has been wonderful,” observed Kennedy. “I highly recommend other jurisdictions and municipalities apply for the assessments and RAP grant. In Loveland, we look forward to bringing this property to life.”