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On Wednesday, Madison County Board Chairman Alan Dunstan and board member Kelly Tracy oversaw the demolition of two abandoned gas stations at the intersection of Interstate 70 and Illinois 4 near Marine.
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Madison County representatives were in Marine to conduct the second in a series of public meetings to address the identification and assessment of potential brownfield sites in Madison County.
EDWARDSVILLE – Madison County Community Development recently conducted the second in a series of public meetings to address the identification and assessment of potential brownfield sites in Madison County. The meeting was at the Marine Senior Center.
In 2015, Madison County received a $400,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to identify historically contaminated properties, also known as brownfields, in the county for cleanup and redevelopment.
At the meeting, representatives from Madison County presented information on brownfields already identified in the eastern portion of the county, including several properties in Marine, Highland and surrounding areas.
“Identifying brownfields is the important first step in the process of the cleanup of abandoned and dilapidated industrial and commercial properties,” Madison County Board Chairman Alan J. Dunstan said. “It is also part of the county’s economic development plan to focus on areas where jobs are needed most.
“This collective effort will result in improved public health, a better environment and, ultimately, jobs for our residents,” he said.
Preliminary work on the project has revealed a number of businesses in rural areas, which at one time supported the industrial facilities in the eastern part of the county, that are abandoned and appear to suffer from contamination.
Smaller communities along major transportation corridors, such as Marine, have numerous long-closed former gas stations, and those sites remain an impediment to redevelopment. Those abandoned gas stations have likely released petroleum and volatile organic compounds, known as BTEX, into the soil and groundwater. Two such facilities, abandoned gas stations at the intersection of Interstate 70 and Illinois 4 near Marine, were demolished Wednesday.
Madison County Board member Kelly Tracy (4th District) attended the meeting and commented on the importance of identifying brownfield sites in the Marine, Highland and Livingston areas.
“While it is important to identify brownfield sites, work is still required to get them cleaned up to eliminate the health hazards found at many of the sites,” Tracy said. “I am excited to work toward identifying those properties and making them viable in terms of sites for potential future development.”
Madison County Community Development serves as the lead agency on the EPA brownfield grant, and has retained a qualified environmental consultant to assist in managing and performing the activities funded by the grant. The department will oversee the work of the consultant and act as a liaison between the EPA, coalition members, the public, property owners and other stakeholders involved in projects resulting from this grant.