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.

From August 1-November 2, 2020, we will accept applications online through the Supplier Portal for the Fall 2020 round.

To access the Request 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 January 2020

In January 2020, Hennepin County awarded 10 ERF grants totaling $1,557,304. 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, and creating market-rate and affordable housing. The recommended grants provide for the renovation and/or construction of an estimated 611 units of affordable housing, 144 of which are considered Section 8 housing units.

1345 Minneapolis, Minneapolis

$40,800 for assessment costs associated with planning for the construction of an estimated 120 units of affordable senior housing. (Grantee: Aeon or affiliated entity)

14th and Central, Minneapolis

$100,000 for investigation and contaminated soil cleanup associated with the construction of a 175-unit affordable housing building, a 5,700-square foot industrial building, a public art gallery, and a playground. (Grantee: City of Minneapolis)

Amber Apartments, Minneapolis

$149,550 for contaminated soil cleanup, asbestos abatement, and a portion of building demolition costs associated with the construction of an apartment building with 76 affordable and five market-rate housing units. (Grantee: City of Minneapolis)

Amundson Flats, Edina

$247,340 for contaminated soil cleanup associated with the construction of 62 units of affordable apartments. (Grantee: City of Edina)

Former Brooklyn Center Sears, Brooklyn Center

$163,000 for assessment costs in preparation for the planned construction of two light-industrial buildings. (Grantee: Honey Badger Acquisitions, Inc. or affiliated entity)

Hennepin Lead-Safe Housing, countywide

$300,000 for continued assistance for a countywide program that performs assessment and abatement of lead-based paint hazards in homes with sensitive populations, such as pregnant women and children 6 years old or younger. (Grantee: Hennepin County Community Works Department)

Leef Townhomes, Minneapolis

$97,183 for contaminated soil cleanup costs associated with the construction of 18 affordable townhomes. (Grantee: Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity or affiliated entity)

Lydia Apartments, Minneapolis

$100,000 for contaminated soil cleanup and asbestos abatement costs associated with the renovation and expansion of the current Lydia Apartments from 40 to 80 units of affordable housing. (Grantee: Lydia Apartments Housing Limited Partnership or affiliated entity)

Minnesota Brownfield Gap Financing Program, countywide

$225,000 to continue the Brownfields Gap Financing Program, which provides small environmental assessment grants to government entities and non-profit organizations. (Grantee: Minnesota Brownfields or affiliated entity)

Stonehouse Square Apartments, Minneapolis

$134,431 for contaminated soil cleanup and asbestos abatement costs associated with rehabilitating 71 affordable apartments. (Grantee: City of Minneapolis)

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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