WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) announced that the cities of Peoria, Rock Falls and Rockford will receive a total of $850,000 from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to clean up brownfield sites in the communities. These funds help the EPA assess and clean up abandoned and commercial properties in order to redevelop the land and spur economic growth.
“Today’s announcement will help our communities grow and expand the local economy,” said Congresswoman Bustos, a member of the House Appropriations Committee. “By leveraging these federal dollars, our communities will be both safer and ready for business. I look forward to seeing how Peoria, Rock Falls and Rockford put these funds to use and establish long term roots for economic success.”
Peoria – $300,000
Rock Falls – $250,000
Rockford – $300,000
In Peoria, the funds will be used to complete environmental site assessments and two cleanup plans in the Near Northside Neighborhood, while in Rock Falls the former Limestone Building – which Congresswoman Bustos has visited in the past – will be cleaned up. Finally, in Rockford, the sites affected are the South Main Rail Yards, the South Main Street Water Power District/South Downtown and the Barber Colman Village and Morgan Street Corridor in the South Main Gateway neighborhood.
Brownfields are properties that may contain a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant that may restrict the ability to redevelop or expand it. The EPA’s Brownfield Program allows them to repurpose these areas in an effort to drive economic development and create jobs, while also taking advantage of existing infrastructure. Areas that are identified as being suitable for new investment are designated as an Opportunity Zone, which may also make the area eligible to preferential tax treatment. The Brownfields Program was reauthorized by Congress in 2018.