Building on Ohio's Industrial Past
Ohio has the potential to bring in millions of dollars in additional tax revenue, provide jobs, and create new housing options if we seize the opportunity to redevelop the over 9,000 environmentally contaminated brownfields throughout the state. Found in every county, these former industrial and commercial sites are unusable for new development in their current condition. These blighted properties discourage investment and create barriers to job creation across the state.
GOPC, working with public and private partners, is developing and stewarding a statewide "Clean Ohio 2.0" initiative to advocate for improved investment and regulatory reform by the State of Ohio for brownfield redevelopment projects.
Why Ohio Needs State Investment in Brownfield Remediation
It can cost $15,000 to $35,000 to remediate one brownfield acre. Ohio's previous program, the Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund (CORF), invested in brownfields remediation through $400 million of catalytic funds to 164 projects across the state. Current brownfield remediation programs work to lower redevelopment costs to local governments and developers, however, these programs often target specific site types or only offer loans, both of which can limit redevelopment possibilities.
A program that includes an investment strategy that is flexible and complements existing state and federal programs will help to further unlock the economic potential of Ohio's industrial, commercial, mixed-use, and residential opportunities.
Toward "Clean Ohio 2.0"
In 2018, Greater Ohio Policy Center is collaborating with public and private sector stakeholders to advocate for sustainable, comprehensive, brownfield program. Through a combination of regulatory reforms and the establishment of "Clean Ohio 2.0," a funding program that is flexible and designed for long term stability, Ohio's communities can enhance economic development and job growth through brownfield redevelopment, a source of investment that Ohio currently does not recognize at its fullest potential.
Documenting the Value of Brownfield Redevelopment
Research by GOPC and others shows that the high cost of brownfield remediation is more than paid back through the economic output of the clean-up itself, new construction, and ongoing tax revenues from the new businesses or homes on the remediated site. GOPC uses economic impact analyses, interviews with local partners, and ongoing research to educating policymakers on the extraordinary economic benefits of brownfield remediation and redevelopment. Check out our 2013 report "Investing in Brownfields" to learn more about the economic impacts of brownfield remediation.
To learn about the economic benefits of brownfields redevelopment, check out our Economic Impacts of Brownfields page, where we profile communities from around the state.
Based on 21 CORF projects selected for diversity in their degree and type of end use, geographic location, and other characteristics, the GOPC study found the CORF generated substantial direct and indirect economic impacts.
There is a wealth of knowledge exists about the benefits of brownfield remediation and the best practices for public expenditure in brownfield clean-ups.
EPA’s Brownfields Program provides grants and technical assistance to communities, states, tribes and others to assess, safely clean up and sustainably reuse contaminated properties.
Check out slides and presentations from our 2017 Summit Brownfield panel.