Ohio debates restarting fund to clean contaminated warehouses

Thousands of abandoned buildings across Ohio are simply too contaminated to develop. 

Old factories that used harsh chemicals. Warehouses built with asbestos. These are parcels of land that need to be cleaned before they can be repurposed. 

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency calls them brownfield sites. Neighbors call them blight. But a growing group of Ohio lawmakers call them a good place to invest state dollars. 

“All these cities are just peppered with these perfect locations that are by the highway or by the railroad, but they have some contamination,” Sen. Michael Rulli, R-Salem, said. “If we can clean them up and get rid of the blight, we can bring jobs back.”

That’s why Rulli and Sen. Sandra Williams, D-Cleveland, have introduced two bills. Senate Bill 83 would create a list of all the Brownfield sites in Ohio, and Senate Bill 84 would restart a program that used to hand out grants for fixing them up. 

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