Lansing, MI (STL.News) – A vacant property in the Lapeer County town of Otter Lake will be evaluated for potential environmental contamination with a $115,000 grant from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE). The grant will help the Lapeer County Land Bank Authority, the property owner, determine whether past uses have contaminated the soil or groundwater. If the site is contaminated, the evaluation also will determine the cost to make the site safe for reuse.
Prior property owners manufactured fertilizer and processed natural gas at the location. The site is believed to be contaminated, but the extent is unknown. Once the environmental condition is evaluated, the Lapeer County Land Bank Authority will auction the property and return it to productive use.
EGLE partners with communities to protect public health and the environment and revitalize contaminated property. EGLE grants and loans pay for environmental investigation and cleanup on brownfields, which are vacant or abandoned properties with known or suspected environmental contamination.
More than half of EGLE’s budget each year flows into Michigan communities in grants, loans and other spending; this supports local projects, protects public health and the environment, and creates economic growth and jobs for Michigan workers. Partnerships between EGLE and communities have created more than $4.7 billion in private investment and 24,000 new jobs over the life of the Brownfield Redevelopment Program. Each brownfield grant and loan dollar invested by EGLE in 2018 to protect residents and the environment is expected to return an average of $42 to the state’s economy. When brownfields are redeveloped, property values increase both on the revitalized site and on other nearby properties.