Deadline Approaching for Round I of Ohio Brownfield Grant Applications– January 14, 2022 by Jonathan Williamson

Ohio has allocated $500 million in funding for brownfield assessment, remediation and demolition in its 2022-2023 budget. To be considered a “brownfield,” a property must be linked to either known or potential releases of hazardous substances, including asbestos abatement.

Run by the Ohio Department of Development (ODOD), the program offers three application windows, with the first such period ending on January 31, 2021. Find details below on the allocation of funds among counties and program initiatives, the application process and types of qualified expenditures.

Brownfield Grant Funding Allocation

  • $150 million reserved for building demolition and site revitalization
    • Qualified expenditures include:
  • Demolition costs (including certain pre- and post-demolition expenses)
  • Some applicable administrative costs
    • $500,000 is allocated specifically to each Ohio county; the remaining $106 million will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis
  • $350 million reserved for brownfield remediation and redevelopment
    • Qualified expenditures include:
  • Actions that contain, remove or dispose of hazardous substances
  • Installation and upgrade of infrastructure necessary for economic development activity at the site
  • Brownfield site property acquisition costs (capped at 10% of request)
  • Administrative costs (capped at 10% of request)
    • $1 million is allocated specifically to each Ohio county; the remaining $262 million is to be provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

Brownfield Grant Application Process

Units of government are eligible to apply, including:

  • Counties
  • Townships
  • Municipal corporations
  • Port authorities
  • Conservancy or park districts

Non-government organizations may apply, but they must have entered into an agreement with a unit of government to complete the project.

Applicants will have three phases to submit a grant application:

  • Round I:  December 7, 2021, through January 31, 2022
  • Round II:  March 1, 2022, through April 30, 2022
  • Round III:  July 1, 2022, through September 30, 2022

The application will require detailed information related to the project, such as project description, current condition and the redevelopment plan. Additionally, the applicant must project certain information, such as the number of both anticipated new and retained jobs and total project costs. Finally, the application requires certain types of documentation including a supporting resolution from the local government project sponsor, Phase I and Phase II assessment reports, and remediation plans.

Potential Grant Awards

Applicants are eligible for a maximum grant of $300,000 for Phase II assessments, and up to $10 million for clean-up and remediation. The amount granted is based entirely on the discretion of the program administrator, or ODOD.

Note that funds granted through a county’s dedicated funding pool does not require fund matching; however, any grant provided to a government unit from the general funding pool requires a 25% match. Note that applicable costs incurred in the prior two years are eligible to claim towards required fund matching.

Additional Program Requirements and Information

  • Phase II assessments are required to be granted funding towards clean-up and remediation. Applicants may request funding to complete a Phase II assessment; however, obtaining this funding could delay the completion of the Phase II assessment until outside of the fund grant windows. Ideally, potential applicants have either previously completed a Phase II assessment, or are willing to pay for their own assessment in advance of any grant funding.
  • All funding will be provided on a first come, first served basis.
  • Clean up must be completed under the Ohio EPA Voluntary Action Program. No alternative environmental liability strategies are available for funding.

Due to the $500 million price tag attributed to this program, and the high maximum grant awards available, this program is likely to attract significant attention. Many large clean-up and remediation projections not previously pursued due to a lack of government funding are likely candidates for this program. As the program is sure to be both competitive and data intensive, be sure to begin exploring the application process now.

Contact Jon Williamson at jwilliamson@cohencpa.com or a member of your service team to discuss this topic further.


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Cohen & Company is not rendering legal, accounting or other professional advice. Information contained in this post is considered accurate as of the date of publishing. Any action taken based on information in this blog should be taken only after a detailed review of the specific facts, circumstances and current law.