Overtime, when things are idle they begin to deteriorate, and a place that is not used will become dilapidated. The contents left behind on vacant land and property may already be dangerous, but left unattended could pose a real danger to others and start reeking of the effects of asbestos.
Just like the old saying for people goes, ‘a body in motion stays in motion.’ Here we are talking about an environmental issue associated with big cities, small towns, and areas all across the United States, called blight. Blight cannot only be an eyesore but a hazard to human health.
Idle Properties Sit Ridden With Contamination Across The United States
Today vast amounts of properties infested with environmental contamination lay idle here in this country. These sites left unattended not only put a damper on economic development, but pose a great risk to human health and the environment. When no other option or party can help handle the burden of cleaning up these horrid places, resources are still available if conditions meet the stipulations for assistance to be provided, such as having the effects of asbestos exposure.
Effects of Asbestos, Chemicals, And Infestation Can Become Toxic
Environmental concerns such as pollution caused by hazardous waste, rodent infestation, pestilence, chemicals, or even asbestos, can enhance the situation into a toxic environment. More than likely the neighborhood, plant, or warehouse once inhabited has been closed with no sign of ever reopening or being used again. Unless, someone comes in to lease or buy the property the chance of maintaining the location to its former or current condition will be ‘slim to none.’
Citizens Sought Assistance With Environmentally Contaminated Property Site
A few weeks ago, in Lake County, Michigan, the citizens and Lake County Economic Development Alliance had enough of a dilapidated site riddled with environmental contamination that has been lying dangerously silent in their community. Here, citizens, Lake County authorities, and the economic development alliance, sought assistance to clean up the polluted site. The site contains contaminants ranging from old fuel, oils, and the effects of asbestos.
State Of Michigan Approved A $350,000 Brownfield Redevelopment Grant
With the help of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, a $350,000 ‘Brownfield’ redevelopment grant was authorized to pay for the cleanup of the contaminated area, which was dubbed, a brownfield property. A brownfield property is an area known for environmental contamination that sits either underutilized, vacant, or abandoned. These properties maybe contaminated areas, but could be utilized as a redeveloped property, if reinvestment or clean up is properly accomplished. Reinvestment, into these properties is done not only for environmental decontamination, but for economic development, such as job growth or tax revenue, from the revitalization of these properties.
State Brownfields Redevelopment And Land Revitalization Program
The state of Michigan, utilizes their ‘Brownfields’ Redevelopment Program, by issuing grants for qualified applicants or redevelopment loans. A major condition for receiving a redevelopment grant requires that a proposed project must result in economic benefit for the community greater than the amount of the grant through job creation, private investment, or property tax increase. Grants can be awarded up to $1,000,000 million per site project. In addition, qualified applicants can receive both a brownfield redevelopment grant and loan within the same year, but only one grant or loan can be allotted per entity or governmental agency per year.
Requirements For State Brownfield Grants Or Loans
Upon submission of an application to the State of Michigan, minimum requirements have to be met such as: evidence that the site is a facility, history of property use and ownership, a development agreement between the community and the developer, planning/zoning approvals, evidence of financing to complete the proposed project, and other pre-development information.
The Department will evaluate applications based on investment, applicant liability, environmental benefit or resolved outcome from reinvestment development, and other criteria. Only local governmental authorities or other entities created in pursuant to state law may apply for these redevelopment grants. Also, these grants and loans are dispersed from the Clean Michigan Bond Fund, and enacted under the Michigan, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1994.
Dilapidated Building Replaced With A Store And Jobs
The Lake County site currently has a dilapidated building that is scheduled to be demolished. In addition, contaminated soil remediation and underground storage tanks are set to be removed as part of the project because there are prevalent signs of the effects of asbestos.
Once the environmental cleanup and remediation is complete, a Dollar General store will be built onsite at the location. There will be several new jobs along with additional revenue that will be coming into the area. Dollar General, is a large general merchandise store with small to medium size retail stores spread out all over the United States.
Contaminated Site Set To Be Revitalized
The state redevelopment grant will disperse $350,000 to help reinvest in the contaminated cleanup needed for this Lake County, Michigan, site to be redeveloped. If you take economics out of the equation alone, the site contamination that will be removed is the most important event happening as a result of this state Brownfield redevelopment grant.
Asbestos Becomes Harmful When It Deteriorates
If asbestos starts to crumble or break apart from its residual state the particles then become available for exposure in the surrounding area. The danger of this occurrence comes from the fact that airborne particles of asbestos can lead to the development or enhancement of lung disease, lung cancer, and mesothelioma cancer. When anyone inhales or swallows these asbestos particles, the particulates will settle in the lining of the lungs or abdomen, and can later buildup to develop lung disease or mesothelioma cancer.
Brownfield Or Vacant Properties Not Safe
Dilapidated buildings, vacant property, and abandoned facilities of any kind are never safe for anyone to explore. These places could likely possess contaminated entities that will harm you or others. Sometimes these areas also known as ‘brownfields’ will deteriorate to the point where they not only harm the site area, but the surrounding community as well.
Contaminated Properties Pose The Risk of Secondary Asbestos Exposure
If you or a loved one live in an area where one of these sites may qualify as a contaminated zone or ‘brownfield’ feel free to contact your local or state authorities to make these concerns known. Remember, secondary exposure to asbestos and other chemicals, from contaminated sites such as these, can be extremely harmful to your health. If you believe you may be suffering from harmful effects as a result of asbestos or chemical exposure please do not hesitate to call an experienced attorney.