Brownfields Multipurpose Grant


In 2019, Dubuque was selected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to receive $800,000 in Brownfields funding through the Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup (MAC) Grant program. 

The multipurpose grant funding is being used to conduct five environmental site assessments, develop two cleanup and reuse plans, and clean up three catalyst sites. Grant funds also will be used to support community engagement activities. The key targets for cleanup include:

  • The 1.4-acre Morrison Brothers property along Washington St.,
  • the 3.5-acre former Dodd’s Terminal industrial property at Terminal St.,
  • and the 5.5-acre former Sinclair Oil site on the riverfront.

Target areas for environmental assessments include the Historic Millwork District, North Port, South Port, and the Washington and North End neighborhoods. 

Manufacturing and industrial uses mix throughout the City’s South Port, Washington Neighborhood, and North End. It is common for automotive repair shops, junkyards, and abandoned factories to abut housing in these areas. Assessing the ownership status and condition of properties in this area will aid the redevelopment of this area in accordance with the Imagine Dubuque 2037 comprehensive plan and bring about a more productive use that is beneficial to the community.  

The goal is to develop an inventory of brownfield properties and enroll appropriate sites in the Iowa Land Recycling Program (Iowa LRP), to determine whether further assessment, cleanup, or no action is required before redevelopment can occur.

What is a Brownfield?

A brownfield is a property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. It is estimated that there are more than 450,000 brownfields in the U.S. Cleaning up and reinvesting in these properties increases local tax bases, facilitates job growth, utilizes existing infrastructure, takes development pressures off of undeveloped, open land, and both improves and protects the environment.

Nearby residents and other local community members benefit when a brownfield site is transformed from an eyesore and safety concern into a new job center, recreational facility, housing, or other community amenities. Safely reusing a brownfield site is possible when a redevelopment plan helps guide site assessment and cleanup decisions.

Assessing Brownfield Sites

When a community has questions about whether a property is environmentally contaminated, a site assessment is needed. An assessment helps a community understand environmental conditions on the property and whether those conditions could be harmful to residents and workers. The site assessment process can include a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment, a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment, and additional assessment activities. Read more about the site assessment process.

Cleaning Up Brownfield Sites

Cleaning up contaminants on a brownfield reduces or eliminates potential health risks to residents, workers, pets, and the surrounding environment. How much cleanup is needed depends on the specific contaminants found at the brownfield, the extent of contamination, and how the property will be reused. State programs oversee cleanups to ensure safe reuse standards are met. An environmental professional creates a site cleanup plan based on assessment findings and conducts the cleanup according to state and local requirements. Read more about cleaning up brownfield sites.

City Council Work Session

South Port Redevelopment Possibilities - July 25, 2022