Site cleanup and assessment funds

Hennepin County supports the redevelopment of contaminated properties known as “brownfields.” Whether your development project is starting the investigation phase or needs assistance with managing known contamination, Hennepin County offers a variety of funding sources.

Eligible recipients include for-profit businesses, developers, governmental organizations, and nonprofit organizations.

Learn more about brownfield funding programs for projects in Hennepin County here.

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Assessment funding

The following programs are available to assist with site investigation work.

Assistance to municipalities and nonprofit organizations

Hennepin County can complete environmental assessment work on behalf of nonprofit organizations, municipalities, and other local units of government.

Depending on your project, Hennepin County may also fund activities such as asbestos and lead-based paint abatement and other costs to prepare for clean up. Requests for funds are considered on a rolling basis. Total amounts vary by project. Contact brownfields@hennepin.us.

Brownfield Gap Financing Program

Hennepin County also partners with Minnesota Brownfields, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, to provide nonprofit organizations and local units of government with gap funding for assessment work. Projects may apply for a maximum of $15,000 total in a 12-month span. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. These funds are available through the Brownfield Gap Financing Program.

More information and application can be found online: Minnesota Brownfields Gap Financing Program.

If your assessment project is more than $15,000, call Hennepin County to learn about other options.

Assistance to for-profit businesses

Environmental Response Fund provides assessment funding to for-profit businesses. No other assessment funding to for-profit businesses is available at this time. Check back for updates.

Other Brownfield resources

In addition to county funding, state and federal sources of funding for the assessment and cleanup of contaminated sites in Hennepin County may also be available. More information can be found in Minnesota Brownfields: A Resource Guide (PDF).

Environmental Response Fund grant program

Environmental Response Fund (ERF) grants are used to fund the assessment and cleanup of contaminated sites in Hennepin County.

Find information below about ERF grant requirements, how to apply, grant management, funded projects and contacts.

Requirements

ERF grants are awarded on a competitive basis. Priority is given to the following:

  • Significantly contaminated sites
  • Demonstrated project readiness
  • Municipal and other public development projects
  • Affordable housing projects where contamination issues preclude redevelopment
  • Projects that promote economic development
  • Infill brownfield properties or orphan sites that contribute to blight
  • Other criteria includes projects that incorporate sustainable features and activities in the project design, construction, and operation

Eligible applicants for ERF include municipalities, economic development agencies, housing and redevelopment authorities, other local public entities, nonprofit organizations, and for-profit businesses. ERF grants are not available to non-local government responsible parties.

ERF grants are available for the investigation and cleanup of non-petroleum contamination or petroleum-related contamination.

In addition to county funding, other sources of funding for the assessment and cleanup of contaminated sites in Hennepin County may also be available. More information can be found in Minnesota Brownfields: A Resource Guide (PDF).

Applying for an ERF grant

Prior to applying for an ERF grant, contact brownfields@hennepin.us to discuss your project and funding needs. Starting August 2019, we will be accepting applications online through the Supplier Portal.

Upcoming applications are due Monday, November 4, 2019 at 3 pm.

To access the Response For Proposal (RFP) and apply:

  • Visit the Supplier Portal.
  • You can view the separate RFPs and materials by clicking the Environmental Response Fund RFP in the Events panel on the right half of the screen.
  • To apply, follow the on-screen instructions.

You will need to be registered to submit an application. For detailed instructions on how to register and submit an application, including video tutorials and more, visit the Supplier Portal information page.

Funding available

Approximately $1.0 – $1.2 million is distributed every grant round. Awards vary depending on the project, the amount of available grant funding and the list of applications received. No funding match is required. Grantees can start incurring costs the day after County Board approval.

ERF grant recipients

Successful grantees will be informed of their award early 2020. Each grantee will be assigned a grant manager. Please contact your grant manager to discuss reimbursement requests associated with your grant. The following forms need to be submitted as part of your reimbursement request:

1. Download and complete a disbursement form to request grant funds.

2. Download and complete an annual progress report (DOCX).

3. City of Minneapolis sub-recipient grantees additional form: Download and complete quarterly progress reports (XLS)

To submit disbursements:

  • Provide an electronic copy of the draft disbursement request and all back up information to the assigned grant manager to whom you currently submit requests. The grant manager will review the request and submit it for payment.
  • Provide an electronic copy of the final signed disbursement request form, including all required backup documentation to your grant manager.

Grants awarded February 2019

In February 2019, Hennepin County awarded 13 ERF grants totaling $2,032,483. The grants will fund asbestos and lead-based paint abatement, vapor mitigation, and contaminated soil assessment and cleanup. The funding supports projects that create economic development by increasing the tax base, creating permanent jobs, supporting stormwater management improvements, and creating market-rate and affordable housing. The recommended grants provide for the renovation and/or construction of an estimated 452 units of affordable housing.

Checkerboard, Minneapolis

$290,000 for abatement costs associated with the construction of an estimated 125 affordable and 125 market-rate rental units and retail space. (Grantee: City of Minneapolis)

City of Lakes Community Land Trust Homebuyer Initiated Program, Minneapolis

$200,000 for abatement costs associated with the rehabilitation of at least nine owner-occupied, permanently affordable (land trust), single-family homes. (Grantee: City of Lakes Community Land Trust)

Creekside at Van White, Minneapolis

$173,018 for contaminated soil cleanup associated with the construction of a new office building along Bassett Creek. (Grantee: City of Minneapolis)

Currie Park, Minneapolis

$165,474 for contaminated soil cleanup associated with park cleanup and improvements. (Grantee: Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board)

Fort Snelling Upper Post, Fort Snelling

$415,184 for abatement costs associated with the renovation of existing structures into 42 units of affordable rental housing. (Grantee: Fort Snelling Leased Housing Associates I, LLLP)

Gateway Northeast, Minneapolis

$260,739 for contaminated soil cleanup and abatement costs associated with the construction of a mixed-use residential apartment complex, which includes 50 market-rate and 79 affordable rental units, and retail space. (Grantee: City of Minneapolis)

Lake Street Affordable Housing, Minneapolis

$222,236 for contaminated soil cleanup, demolition, and abatement costs associated with the construction of 111 affordable rental units and retail space. (Grantee: Lake Street Affordable Housing, LLC)

Minnesota Brownfields Gap Financing Program, countywide

$200,000 to continue the Brownfields Gap Financing Program, which provides small environmental assessment grants to government entities and nonprofit organizations. (Grantee: Minnesota Brownfields)

Portland and Washington Mixed-Use Development, Minneapolis

$81,364 for contaminated soil cleanup and abatement costs associated with the construction of 240 market-rate and 90 affordable rental units, a fire station, and office/retail space. (Grantee: City of Minneapolis)

Robbinsdale Apartments, Robbinsdale

$24,468 for contaminated soil cleanup associated with the construction of 197 market-rate rental units. (Grantee: City of Robbinsdale)

Brownfields cleanup revolving loan

Hennepin County administers the Brownfields cleanup revolving loan program with funds made available through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The goal of this program is to stimulate reuse and redevelopment of contaminated sites.

Requirements

Low-interest loans are available for environmental cleanup of hazardous waste, hazardous waste co-mingled with petroleum and petroleum-only impacts.

Eligible applicants include municipalities, economic development agencies, housing and redevelopment authorities, other local public entities, nonprofit organizations, public companies, private for-profit companies, and other interested parties. Loans are not available to responsible parties.

Applying for a revolving loan

Approximately $1.4 million is available. Applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis throughout the year.

Contact

Land and Water Unit
mary.finch@hennepin.us
Phone: 612-596-1595

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