Minnesota Brownfields News
|EDAM Summer Conference
June 26-28, Duluth
Registration and more info here
State of Brownfields Update
July 17, Minneapolis
Registration available soon
U.S. EPA brownfield grantwriting workshop
August 12, St. Cloud
2013 ReScape Awards
November 7, St. Paul
Project nominations may be submitted starting in July.
A new award category has been added: the Small City Impact Award for communities under 30,000 population. Click here for project eligibility criteria. Questions? Call 651-307-4371.
Input Sought on Response Action Plan Draft Guidance
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has drafted new guidance on developing a Response Action Plan (RAP) for properties enrolled in the MPCA's Brownfield Programs (Voluntary Investigation and Cleanup and Petroleum Brownfields programs). To view the draft RAP guidance click here. Comments are requested by Friday, June 14. Please email comments to Hans Neve.
Legislative Victories for Cleanup and Redevelopment Programs in Minnesota
Environmental Response Fund
Governor Dayton signed both the Omnibus Tax bill (HF677), which included the reinstatement of the Environmental Response Funds (ERF) for Hennepin and Ramsey Counties with a 15-year sunset. Previous sunset provisions were for five years. The ERF programs fund assessment and cleanup of contaminated sites. Hennepin and Ramsey County staff as well as Minnesota Brownfields thank all of you whose efforts made a difference in the passage of these bills.
Redevelopment Grant Program
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) was awarded $6 million in General Funds for its Redevelopment Grant program. This is a big win for the program for 2 reasons: 1) This program has been funded with bond proceeds, which limit use of funds to public projects and infrastructure. 2) These funds can also be used to award Demolition Loans for projects where a community has a need to demolish buildings which are causing health and safety issues and hindering future development. For its May grant round, DEED received a total of 13 applications statewide, with requests totaling over $5.3 million. DEED is hosting the following workshops this summer on the Redevelopment Grant and Demo Loan Programs:
Thursday, June 20 Friday, June 21
9 a.m.to 11:00 a.m. 10:30 a.m. to noon
City Hall City Offices - 222 2nd St. SE
20195 Holyoke Ave. Wadena, MN 56482
Lakeville, MN 55044
For more perspective on the 2013 Legislative Session and its implications for brownfield cleanup and redevelopment, plan to attend our State of Brownfields Update event on July 17th. Program content and registration will be available soon.
1515 Central Avenue Open for Business
A celebration was recently held for the opening of one of Hillcrest Development's latest rehab projects at 1515 Central Avenue in NE Minneapolis. The project, which received brownfield funding from DEED, Metropolitan Council, and Hennepin County's Environmental Response Fund, has approximately 71,000 s.f. of office/warehouse space and is 100% leased. Tenants are: Anagram International (Party City), IVDesk, Barometer IT, and James Dayton Design. Learn more here. (Photo courtesy of Hillcrest Development).
Health Impact Assessments & Brownfields in the News
The City of Duluth will conduct a health impact assessment (HIA) in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Health to explore the potential health impacts of the Gary/New Duluth Small Area Plan. HIA is a tool used to identify and address the potential health benefits and health risks of a decision made in a field outside the health sector. The Gary/New Duluth neighborhood is situated adjacent to a landfill and the US Steel Plant Duluth Works site, a federal Superfund site. "Because the Gary/New Duluth Neighborhood is located between US Steel superfund site and a major land fill, our significant health concerns are based on past pollution as well as the redevelopment of other adjacent industrial property. This grant will facilitate our ability to incorporate and mitigate the impacts of the recommendations from the Small Area Plan on the health of the neighborhood residents" said Keith Hamre, Director of Duluth's Department of Planning and Construction Services.
Health Impact Assessment & Brownfields Research Project
Suzanne Canney (pictured at right) is student at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, currently working on a combination Environmental Toxicology and Epidemiology MPH. She also works as a physician assistant in a small emergency room.
Ms. Canney is managing a joint research project between Minnesota Brownfields and the Minnesota Department of Health to develop a health impact assessment tool for brownfields in Minnesota. Though health impact assessments (HIAs) have been used for some time in European countries , they are relatively new to the US. This project has drawn information from previously completed HIAs and a search of the current literature on health-related brownfield projects. Ultimately, the project will help us better understand the connection between public health and brownfield redevelopment in Minnesota. End products include a how-to guidance document on conducting HIAs on brownfield sites.
Groundbreaking Ceremony at Former Twin Cities Army Ammunitions Plant
To commemorate its purchase of the Arden Hills TCAAP site, Ramsey County invites the public to a June 7 groundbreaking event. Congresswoman Betty McCollum, Ramsey County Commissioner Rafael Ortega and Arden Hills Mayor David Grant will attend. Demolition and cleanup work recently started as is expected to finish in the fall of 2015. More information about the groundbreaking event here.
Loll & Epicurean Manufacturing Facility Recognized at Brownfields 2013 Conference The cleanup and redevelopment of Duluth's former Polaris Vault site, partially funded through an U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) assessment grant, was recognized at the May Brownfields 2013 conference in Atlanta. The site is now the manufacturing facility for a trio of sustainability-focused businesses: Loll Designs, Epicurean Cutting Surfaces and Intectural. These businesses are thriving and looking to expand. Accepting the recognition were Ross Lovely and Heidi Timm-Bijold of the City of Duluth, pictured here with Keary Cragan of EPA's Region 5 Office.
Additional Time for Comments on Draft Petroleum Vapor Intrusion Guidance
EPA is extending the opportunity for public input on its draft final vapor intrusion guidance documents. Public input can be submitted until June 24, 2013. More info and the draft documents are found here.
U.S. Real Estate Markets Favor Urbanization and Infill
At the Brownfields 2013 conference in Atlanta, CBRE, a national real estate services firm, provided a market forecast for 2013 for commercial, housing and retail markets. Echoing what we've heard elsewhere, the national forecast continues to look positive for growth within urban markets/infill for office, industrial and multi-family development. View the full presentation here
Training Opportunities through ITRC
|THANK YOU TO MEMBERS AND SPONSORS |Minnesota Brownfields work is largely made possible through the generous contributions of our members. Individual memberships are available starting at $25/year, but a contribution at any level helps pay for this monthly e-newsletter and other publications. Donate now.
We thank the following individuals and organizations for becoming Redevelopment, Remediation or RAP Development level members, renewing membership at those levels, or for sponsoring our events in the past 12 months:
- American Engineering Testing
- American National Bank
- Barr Engineering Company
- Bay West
- Beazley Consulting
- Braun Intertec Corporation
- Jon Carlson
- Economic Development Association of Minnesota
- Fredrikson & Byron, P.A.
- Gray Plant Mooty
- Halleland Habicht
- Hillcrest Development, LLLP
- Historical Information Gatherers
- Hyde Development, LLC
- Javelin Group
- Landmark Environmental, LLC
- Leonard, Street, and Deinard
- Loucks Associates
- Metropolitan Council
- Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development
- Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
- The Opus Group
- Parkway Law
- Peer Engineering
- Pope Architects
- Saint Paul Port Authority
- Stoel Rives
- Western Bank
- Xcel Energy
Through education, research and partnerships, Minnesota Brownfields promotes the efficient cleanup and reuse of contaminated land as a means of generating economic growth,
strengthening communities and enabling sustainable land use and development.