SAULT STE. MARIE — A contaminated property in Sault Ste. Marie will be redeveloped as a research and education center with the help of $1,541,000 in Brownfield Redevelopment Grant and Loan funds from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE).
The Sault Ste. Marie Brownfield Redevelopment Authority was awarded the grant and loan to revitalize and safely reuse a former Union Carbide manufacturing site on Salmon Run Way in Sault Ste. Marie.
Lake Superior State University will build its new Center for Freshwater Research and Education on the site. The $13.2 million redevelopment will create a state-of-the-art research facility where students will study freshwater ecological systems such as fisheries, invasive species, and water quality.
Soil and groundwater were contaminated by metals from industrial use. The brownfield grant and loan will be used to address environmental contamination so the property can be safely reused, and for demolition of a parking lot to make space for the new research building.
LSSU enrollment is expected to increase when the center attracts more students. The center is likely to contribute to more sport fishing and other tourism in the area and attract new business.
EGLE partners with communities to protect public health and the environment and revitalize contaminated property. EGLE grants and loans pay for environmental investigation and cleanup on brownfields, which are vacant or abandoned properties with known or suspected environmental contamination.
More than half of EGLE’s budget each year flows into Michigan communities in grants, loans and other spending; this supports local projects, protects public health and the environment, and creates economic growth and jobs for Michigan workers. Partnerships between EGLE and communities have created over $4.7 billion in private investment and 24,000 new jobs over the life of the Brownfield Redevelopment Program.
Each brownfield grant and loan dollar invested by EGLE in 2018 to protect residents and the environment is expected to return an average of $42 to the state’s economy. When brownfields are redeveloped, property values increase both on the revitalized site and on other nearby properties. Learn more at Michigan.gov/EGLEBrownfield.