What We Do

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 vacant and contaminated properties known as “brownfields.” These sites are unusable for new development in their current condition. These blighted properties discourage investment and create barriers to job creation across the state.

Advocating for State Assistance in Brownfield Remediation

It can cost $15,000 to $35,000 to remediate one brownfield acre. Brownfield remediation programs at JobsOhio, Ohio Development Services Agency, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, and Ohio Water Development Authority work to lower these 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. 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. 

(PDF) Learn more about our vision for Clean Ohio 2.0 ➔

(PDF) Hear what community leaders are saying ➔

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.

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List of High-Priority Brownfields

Despite Clean Ohio’s success, Ohio still contains thousands of brownfield sites.  They are located in both large and small towns, and are a legacy of the state’s industrial past. Click here to visit the list of brownfields that GOPC has compiled.

Related Publications

Assessment of Ohio Cities’ Water and Sewer Infrastructure and Brownfield Sites Redevelopment

November 2015

Like many places in the country, Ohio’s cities have fallen behind in making needed investments in water and sewer infrastructure. Continuing to postpone this infrastructure repair will only compound current problems.

The Guidebook for Redeveloping Commercial Vacant Properties in Legacy Cities

May 2014

This guidebook was developed by the Greater Ohio Policy Center in partnership with the German Marshall Fund of the United States and with support from the Center for Community Progress.

Investing In Brownfields: The Economic Benefits of the Clean ohio revitalization fund

April 2013

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.

Additional Resources

The history and successes of the Clean Ohio revitalization fund

The Clean Ohio program was Ohio’s main source of funding for a variety of environmental expenditures ranging from farmland preservation to conservation of ecologically sensitive areas.  

U.S. EPA Brownfields
Program & Resources

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. 

Greater Ohio Summit 2017 - Brownfield Presentations

Supplementary Research

There is a wealth of knowledge exists about the benefits of brownfield remediation and the best practices for public expenditure in brownfield clean-ups. 

List of helpful reports/handbooks

Related Blog Posts