Brownfields Program

What is a Brownfield?   Brownfields are properties the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.    Brownfields can be very difficult to rehabilitate, so many become neglected, overgrown eyesores.

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. The EPA awarded the City of Ottumwa two Brownfield Assessment Grants totaling $400,000.   These grants will be used for environmental site assessments with the goal of identifying environmental conditions and risks to establish eligibility for cleanup and redevelopment grants, and facilitate appropriate site reuse. The Ottumwa Brownfields Team has created a Geographic Information Systems(GIS) based prioritization model to help select properties for testing. The goal of this process is to test properties that are high priorities or have high potential for redevelopment.

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Developers can obtain Phase 1, and Phase 2 Environmental Assessments on sites they are interested in pursuing at no charge if they contact the Brownfields Team prior to obtaining title to the property.  For more information contact Jody Gates, Director of Health, Inspections, Planning, and Solid Waste at 641-683-0694

  • Brownfields grants can also be used to produce preliminary site concepts for redevelopment. Please contact staff above to see what opportunities are available.

Learn more about brownfields at the Brownfields EPA website. or download our information sheet.


222 Union Street Garden Concept