Durbin Announces $130,000 in Funding to Clean and Redevelop South Cook County Neighborhoods

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS,) has awarded a $130,000 grant to the University of Illinois for a “brownfields” health community pilot project in South Cook County, Illinois. The University of Illinois will use this funding to develop and lead a committee of regional stakeholders to assess, clean, and redevelop “brownfields” contaminated waste sites for land reuse and revitalization. Brownfields are properties upon which expansion, redevelopment, or reuse is complicated by the presence or potential presence of hazardous materials and substances.

“This federal funding will support efforts, led by the University of Illinois, to clean up hazardous materials which undermine the health, growth, and beauty of communities in South Cook County,” Durbin said.

Since 1995, more than 20,000 properties have been assessed, and more than 850 properties have been cleaned up through the brownfields program. In addition to increasing property values and revitalizing communities, investments through the Brownfields program have resulted in approximately 87,000 jobs nationwide. Brownfield properties include abandoned gas stations, old textile mills, closed smelters, and other abandoned industrial properties.