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What are Brownfields?

Brownfields are abandoned or under-utilized industrial and commercial properties with actual or perceived contamination and an active potential for redevelopment. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Remedial Project Management Section (RPMS) manages the Brownfields loan programs and offers technical support to communities through the services of its Brownfields Representatives. 

Brownfields Representatives

Illinois EPA Brownfields Representatives regularly assist cities in taking on Brownfields, such as vacant factories and closed gas stations. City leaders who are eager to return Brownfields to productive use soon find it can be a complicated process. Local governments may lack the expertise and resources needed to locate funding, negotiate property transactions, perform environmental investigations and cleanups, and resolve legal concerns. Brownfields Representatives meet with city leaders to:

  • Explain cleanup options, regulatory program requirements, and environmental liability status;
  • Help municipalities secure public and private financial assistance; and,
  • Guide potential loan recipients through the Brownfields cleanup and redevelopment process.

Illinois Brownfields Redevelopment Loan Program

The Illinois Brownfields Redevelopment Loan Program offers low interest loans to support efforts by local governments and private parties to clean up Brownfields that have already been assessed for contamination. These cleanups typically take place under the Illinois EPA voluntary Site Remediation Program. The loans will pay for limited investigation, remediation, and demolition costs at Brownfields sites. The Illinois EPA administers the loan program, which includes soliciting loan applications and managing funds.

Illinois Brownfields 128 (a) Targeted Brownfield Assessments

Illinois EPA Office of Site Evaluation uses Brownfield funds to conduct Targeted Brownfield Assessments (TBAs) at the request of communities throughout Illinois.  These investigations are conducted at no charge to the community and include the collection of soil and groundwater samples to determine the property’s redevelopment potential.  Completion of an Application for Targeted Brownfield Assessment will begin the process.  Illinois EPA has conducted over 140 Targeted Brownfield Assessments since the inception of the program.  

Brownfields Program Regulations

  • Part 731 - Underground Storage Tanks
  • Part 734 - Petroleum Underground Storage Tanks 
  • Part 740 - Site Remediation Program

Related Information and Resources

Illinois EPA Contacts     

Jacob Fink   (217) 785-8726

Illinois Environmental Protection Agency                                    
1021 North Grand Avenue East                                    
P.O. Box 19276                                    
Springfield, IL 62794-9276