EGLE awards $2.3 million in Upper Michigan grants

Environmentally contaminated spots around the U.P. and Northern Michigan are getting a second chance.

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, (EGLE) has awarded $2.3 million in Brownfield grants to various projects in the region.

Brownfields are areas suspected or known to be contaminated. The funding will help revitalize the areas through environmental investigation, contamination removal, installing ventilation systems and more.

“The cost associated with environmental contamination is often a barrier to these properties,” said Brownfield Redevelopment Coordinator Sara Mae Andrews. “Brownfield grants can help level the playing field.

Manistee will redevelop 7 properties as part of the Manistee Gateway Project. Sault Ste. Marie will re-develop a piece of property into a mixed-use real estate and commercial building.

Andrews and Brownfield Redevelopment Coordination Abbie Hanson speak to how these projects will impact the community.

“The Manistee project will turn some highly desirable riverfront property back to something of use,” said Andrews. “This project takes a vacant building and turns it into something that can be used,” said Hanson of Sault Ste. Marie. “It will bring an estimated 5 to 10 full-time jobs to the community and provide residence.”

The two added that Brownfield coordinators are present in communities across the state, and are eager to help out communities in whichever way they can.

The organization will provide a total of $15.6 million in Brownfield funding throughout Michigan this summer.