VERMILLION COUNTY, Ind. (WAWV/WTWO) — Thrive of West Central Indiana in partnership with the Vermillion County Redevelopment Commission is looking for engineering firms to assess potential brownfield properties to move the project forward.

A “brownfield” can be described as a former commercial or industrial site where its future use is impacted by either a real or perceived contaminated environment. In the Spring of 2022, Thrive of West Central Indiana was awarded a $400,000 grant from the United States Emergency Protection Agency’s (EPA) Community-Wide Brownfields Assessment Grant program. The grant specifically supports the assessment and redevelopment of brownfields impacted by hazardous substances in Vermillion County.

Kristine Krueger, Associate Director of Community Development explained that all funds will be concentrated on environmental phase one and two assessments. Qualified and certified environmental engineers will complete the assessments.

“We hope to continue working with Vermillion County and the redevelopment commission. We’re developing the database for brownfields for potential properties and items they may wish to address later on and continue updating that and progressing through those properties giving them the assessments that are needed,” Krueger said.

The commission and Thrive have a list of some properties to be assessed but are also interested in the public’s opinion. They plan to reach out to community organizations throughout Vermillion County as well.

Once the list of properties has been compiled, the next step is to create a database. From there, Thrive and the commission could go back to the EPA to ask for additional funds to help further progress the cleanup efforts.

The Vermillion County Redevelopment Commission, in partnership with Thrive is currently requesting statements of qualifications from qualified engineering and environmental firms. According to Thrive’s website, those proposals are due by February 28, 2023.