Brownfield Redevelopment

Service Information

Update on Grant Activities

The Village of Bellwood has applied for a Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) for a site located at 4901 St. Charles Rd. Though this project has been funded, wholly or in part, by EPA, the contents of this document do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of EPA. The RLF would fund remediation of the site prior to the construction of two single family homes.  To review the remediation alternatives, refer to the Assessment of Brownfield Cleanup Alternatives in Downloads to the right.

What is a Brownfield? 

Brownfields are abandoned or under-used industrial and commercial properties with actual or perceived contamination. Redevelopment or reuse of brownfields can be complicated by the presence or potential presence of contaminants. However, cleanup and reuse/redevelopment of brownfields can lead to multiple economic benefits and other opportunities such as job training, open space, and floodwater retention.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency offers grants for site assessment, cleanup, and redevelopment. The Cook County Department of Environment and Sustainability received 3 brownfield grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. For details of each grant see below.

Brownfield Assessment Grant

Currently, the Cook County Department of Environment and Sustainability is implementing a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to assess vacant, abandoned, and underutilized brownfields in our Southern Cook County Coalition partners communities. These assessment activities are the first step leading to the cleanup and redevelopment of brownfields in these communities. The coalition partners in this grant included: Chicago Heights, Ford Heights, and Sauk Village.

How do I suggest a potential brownfield site?

Public participation and assistance identifying potential sites for assessment activities is encouraged and welcomed. Please complete the Brownfields Submittal Form found in downloads to the right. The information will be evaluated by our team for consideration.  Sites currently being assessed by the coalition can be found under downloads to the right.

Revolving Loan Fund (RLF)

The Cook County Department of Environment and Sustainability has a revolving loan fund from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to cleanup vacant, abandoned, and underutilized brownfields in our partnered communities. The RLF funds cleanup activities in Bellwood, Chicago Heights, Ford Heights, Franklin Park, Maywood, Sauk Village, and Schiller Park. Loan terms are determined on a site-specific basis, but typically include: 

  • Up to $200,000 per site
  • Interest rate less than prime lending rate
  • Payback period of 3-5 years


Interested in redeveloping a site?


Previous Brownfield Grant Activities

For previous brownfield grant activities check out our story map!


Funding and Other Assistance

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA)

U.S. EPA issues annual grants for brownfield planning, assessment, and cleanup activities. U.S. EPA also provides assistance through their Technical Assistance to Brownfields (TAB) Communities Program. This program helps guide communities through the cleanup and redevelopment process at brownfield properties.

Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA)

The IEPA Office of Brownfields Assistance manages the brownfields grant and loan programs and offers technical support to communities through the services of its Brownfields Representatives.

Cook County Land Bank Authority (CCLBA)

CCLBA is a unit of Cook County government, funded primarily with grants, contributions and revenues from transactions. The CCLBA works to reduce and return vacant land and abandoned buildings back into reliable and sustainable community assets.

South Suburban Land Bank and Development Authority (SSLBDA)

The SSLBDA facilitates the redevelopment of acquired properties through strategic partnerships with developers, community organizations, lenders, and local governments to improve quality of life, stabilize the tax base, and enhance economic activities that promote sustainable, healthy, and stable communities in a manner consistent with local government plans and priorities.

As of December 1, 2017, the Cook County Department of Environmental Control is now the Department of Environment and Sustainability