Our region’s industrial past has a way of hanging around, even as local economies advance and the landscape changes. Local residents are all too familiar with those sites we drive by and wonder, “When are they ever going to clean that up?” or “When is someone going to do something with that place?”
When companies fail to do their duty in leaving no trace once they’ve packed up and moved on, it falls on taxpayers to do the dirty work. But it is encouraging to know progress is being made on that front, as Gov. Mike DeWine’s office announced another 112 Ohio Brownfield Remediation Program projects, amounting to $192 million and affecting 41 counties.
“These properties are vital spaces in our communities, ones that are not only being wasted in their current capacity, but oftentimes are a danger to their local communities,” DeWine said. “Today, we’re reclaiming these spaces for the future of our residents, businesses, and communities.”
Site readiness has become an economic development priority here in the Buckeye State, and certainly we have plenty of sites in need of serious work before we can start talking about “readiness.”
Making progress in that work will mean a lift for communities even if a new use is not found for those sites immediately; and we could all use a lift these days.
“These funds are significant investments in the future of our communities,” Lydia Mihalik, director of the Ohio Department of Development, said. “By cleaning up these hazardous sites, we’re creating new opportunities for economic growth that will benefit businesses and residents for years to come.”
Here’s hoping such progress continues until the job is done — no matter how long it might take.