The Port Announces New Loan Program for Cleaning Up Contaminated Sites
$800,000 Available for Removal of Environmental Threats in Hamilton County
Cincinnati, OH, March 4, 2021 – The Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority (The Port) today announced the launch of a new Remediation Loan Program focused on cleaning up Hamilton County properties. The loan program’s goal is to provide funding to properly clean up contaminated sites, return land back to communities, and deliver a safer and healthier environment for Hamilton County residents.
The Port’s Remediation Loan Program (RLP) was seeded by an $800,000 United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) Brownfields Grant, and future proceeds will be recycled into the fund for additional loans. In what was a highly competitive process, The Port applied for the EPA’s loan fund because of the strong environmental, social, health, and economic needs in Hamilton County.
Traditional financing is not always available or easily attainable for environmental cleanup, and the RLP helps fill this common financing gap and provides a lower interest rate for borrowers.
“Hamilton County has a wealth of centrally located, amenity-rich sites, but environmental contamination is often too large of a financial hurdle for development,” said Karla Auker, U.S. EPA. “This loan program will help fill that gap, unlocking real estate for job creation and economic growth, while returning properties back to communities,” Auker added.
The RLP builds upon The Port’s long-standing focus on environmental stewardship and leveraging state and national funding for environmental cleanup dating back to its founding in 2000. Since then, The Port’s work has resulted in over 250 acres positioned for new development and has impacted nearly 50 properties in Hamilton County through environmental cleanup and assessment.
“We’re excited to offer this new tool for our region,” said Laura N. Brunner, President & CEO of The Port. “The Port has a history of environmental stewardship and justice, creating safer and healthier communities for Hamilton County residents, and the loan program will help propel this critical work,” Brunner continued.
The Port’s Environmental Cleanup History:
- Completed numerous Clean Ohio brownfield site remediation projects under public-private partnerships positively impacting over 175 acres in Cincinnati and Hamilton County; Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund – (GOPC)
- Secured and administered two Assessment Grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the assessment of 29 properties, many of which have since been cleaned up, redeveloped, and support new jobs.
- Secured and administered a $100,000 Ohio Abandoned Gas Station Cleanup Grant for two former Avondale gas station sites
- Utilized Ohio Petroleum Underground Storage Tank Release Compensation Board funding for the same two gas stations in Avondale, and remediated the sites including removal of five underground storage tanks.
- Alerted U.S. EPA officials of the human health and environmental threat at the former Hudepohl site in Queensgate. The U.S. EPA then became involved in the project through an emergency response action to clean up asbestos on a large, contaminated debris pile that had been compromising air quality in the site’s vicinity. This cleanup represented a $1.5 million federal investment.
The U.S. EPA Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund Grant has enabled other communities in Ohio to establish loan programs, including Cuyahoga County, Toledo, and Mansfield. Both public and private borrowers are eligible, and the loan is available for industrial and commercial properties within Hamilton County with documented environmental contamination. Full details on the loan program are available at https://bit.ly/PortRLP .
About The Port
The Port was formed in 2000 to stimulate growth of the regional economy. Partnering with the City of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, the Port works to redevelop manufacturing and residential communities to build the foundation of job creation and livable, viable communities where residents can experience economic prosperity. For additional information, please visit http://www.cincinnatiport.org.
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Marketing Manager, The Port