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Brownfield FAQ's


Someone is dumping garbage on my site. How can I get it cleaned up?

Illegal dumping should be reported to the City at 216-664-DUMP(3867). 
Can I give property to the City for industrial or commercial use?

Contact David Ebersole at 216.664.2204.  The City does not usually accept property with a commercial or industrial history.  However, the City may be able to assist you in identifying resources to help you market your property.  In rare cases, the City may accept property.  In those cases, the City will require due diligence prior to agreeing to any acquisition, including a list of prior owners and operations on the property and applicable environmental reports.  The City can help you understand the due diligence requirements that the City or other buyers may have as part of a property transaction.
What assistance does the City of Cleveland offer for assessing and cleaning up contaminated properties?

The City has partnered with Cuyahoga County and other entities to form the Northcoast Brownfield Coalition.  The Coalition can fund Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessments for projects that meet the evaluation criteria.  Finally, the City can finance remediation costs as part of a Vacant Property Initiative Loan.  Please see the Brownfield Redevelopment page on the website or call 216.664.2204 for details.
What other assistance is available for brownfield redevelopment?

The City works closely with other government entities to provide the most relevant information and funding options. Grants and loans are available through the State of Ohio, JobsOhio, Cuyahoga County, and other sources for more complicated environmental assessments and clean-ups.  Please contact David Ebersole at 216.664.2204 for assistance in finding the right fit for your project.
Is there a way I get a “clean bill of health” for my contaminated property?

Under the Ohio Voluntary Action Program, a site can receive a No Further Action Letter and/or a Covenant Not to Sue from Ohio EPA. For more information, visit the Ohio EPA's VAP Website or call 216.664.2204.

Can you recommend a company to clean my contaminated property?

The City does not recommend companies. A property clean-up conducted under the Voluntary Action Program should proceed in accordance with a Remedial Action Plan authored by an Ohio Voluntary Action Program Certified Professional.
How do I know if a property is contaminated?

An environmental professional can determine if a property is contaminated by conducting Phase I and Phase II environmental assessments. These assessments should meet the EPA’s All Appropriate Inquiries Standards or the Ohio Voluntary Action Program Standard.  More information can be found at the State of Ohio EPA website here.

What are Phase I and Phase II Environmental Assessments?

A Phase I Assessment examines the historical use of a site and available public records to identify areas of suspected environmental contamination.  A Phase II Assessment conducts further analysis through sampling soil and groundwater to determine more information concerning the presence of environmental contamination on the site.
Does the City of Cleveland have a list of “brownfields”?

The City does not keep a list of brownfields.
What is a “brownfield”?

CERCLA defines a brownfield site as “real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant."

Where can I find a list of commercial properties that are for sale in Cleveland?

Please use our site selection tool or contact the Department of Economic Development at 216.664.2406.
I want to purchase contaminated commercially zoned property. Can you advise me on whether or not I should go forward with the transaction?

The City does not make recommendations for or against the purchase of any property. The City recommends that a prospective buyer should seek advice from an experienced environmental consultant and an attorney knowledgeable in environmental liability issues.