Ohio EPA said Thursday it has developed a new online tool to help businesses identify and develop brownfield properties in
Businesses can use the brownfield inventory database to easily look up available properties, learn what infrastructure
services are already developed on those sites and what environmental investigation and cleanup has already been done.
Communities will also find the website a useful tool for planning or promoting new development for local brownfield sites,
the agency said in a release.
Many sites listed in the inventory are already cleaned up and ready for use, while others may be close to completing a
cleanup, or have one or two phases of cleanup completed. Contaminated properties without any investigation or cleanup
work performed are not likely to be listed on the brownfield inventory since it targets properties that have been identified
as “redevelopment ready” projects, Ohio EPA explained.
The online inventory contains information concerning addresses, prior uses, photos, utilities available, proximity to major
roads, airports and public transit. It includes mapping tools with pan, zoom, terrain, satellite, and street view features, and
grid tools with filter, sort, group or export features. Online tutorial videos demonstrate how to use interactive features.
Local governments and private entities may apply to add properties to the database or use an affidavit for property to be
removed from the inventory if the property has already been redeveloped or they choose to remove it.
Assessment and clean-up assistance is available through Ohio EPA to facilitate the redevelopment of brownfield sites. For
example, Ohio EPA may be able to provide environmental investigation and field screening services at no cost for
brownfield sites in Ohio communities through a U.S. EPA grant program. In addition, the Clean Ohio Fund has grant money
available to assess and clean up sites, moving blighted properties into active use. Additional information about assessment
and financial incentives can be found online at http://www.derr.epa.ohio.gov/Process.aspx .
According to Ohio EPA, “Brownfield properties are abandoned, idled or under-utilized properties and can be unmaintained,
often with owners no longer paying taxes. Abandoned properties can attract vandalism, vectors, illegal dumping, and
become eyesores that degrade the environment, depress the community and pose health risks. Redeveloping or expanding
a brownfield site can be complicated when there is contamination from hazardous substances, petroleum or the potential
for a hazardous release. It takes professionally trained and certified assessors to detect when hazards exist. Structures —
such as abandoned factories, warehouses, power plants, dry cleaners, hotels or gas stations — may exist on a brownfield