From Staff Reports

GRAYLING — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s brownfield program awarded a $300,000 grant to Crawford County.

The federal dollars will help pay for an updated brownfield site inventory, as well as conduct 24 environmental site assessments at various phases. Grant funds also will be used to develop two cleanup plans and pay for educational outreach materials.

Assessments will focus on the Interstate 75 Business Corridor and the Grayling Industrial Park, both within Grayling city limits. Priority sites include the old Bear Archery site, a former producer of bows and arrows for the hunting industry; the Grayling Dump; and, the Hospitality House, a 7-acre vacant former motel site now in disrepair.

The grant is among 155 awarded to communities and tribes that total more than $65.6 million in EPA brownfield funding through the federal agency’s assessment, revolving loan fund and cleanup grant programs.

Crawford County’s grant is among the 118 awarded to communities to assess or clean up brownfield sites designated as federal “opportunity zones” — economically distressed census tracts where new private investment, under certain conditions, may be eligible for preferential tax treatment.

The EPA defines a brownfield as a property for which the expansion, redevelopment or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant.

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