Growing the Green Economy Blog

Quick Guide to Greener Clean Ups
August 13, 2009, 4:01 pm
Filed under: Resources and Tools | Tags: , ,

Have you heard of greener cleanups but been confused about what they are or unsure how they can benefit your brownfield redevelopment project?  Delta is developing a new Quick Guide to Greener Cleanups to provide basic information and easy-to-digest advice for local economic development professionals who don’t want to wade through the technical literature.

The Quick Guide will answer questions like “What is A Greener Cleanup?” and “Why should I care?” It also will provide a summary of how different techniques vary in terms of time, money and environmental benefits. The first edition of the Quick Guide will be geared toward redevelopment in Indiana, and includes state brownfield program information along with a few examples of greener cleanups in Indianapolis.

To get on our list to receive a copy of the Quick Guide and receive  information about Indiana’s Unlocking the Potential of the Green Economy workshop, please email Vanessa Roanhorse at the Delta Institute at For information on how to get a Quick Guide tailored to your state or area, contact Chris Slattery at the Delta Institute at (312) 554-0900 X21 or


EPA Grant Awarded
April 8, 2009, 3:00 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Focus on Green Economic Development Strategies for Weak Market Areas

For 10 years the Delta Redevelopment Institute (an affiliate of the Chicago-based Delta Institute) has been working to redevelop brownfield sites in low income communities. This experience has taught us that the lack of viable reuse options makes it difficult to access cleanup funds. At the same time, we see new green policies such as renewable energy mandates and energy efficiency incentives as an opportunity to create jobs and generate demand for former industrial sites.

Last fall, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded Delta a major new brownfields grant for training, research and technical assistance focused on the theme of green economic development strategies for brownfields in weak market areas.

Each year Delta will select three communities located within 200 miles of Chicago to partner with us in developing green economic development strategies relating to:

  • Renewable energy mandates;
  • Green building policies;
  • Waste recycling ordinances;
  • Local food system planning; and
  • Other green policies and incentives.

Year 1 pilot community partners include:

  • City of Indianapolis Office of Sustainability,
  • Chicago Southland Economic Development Corporation and
  • Racine County (Wisconsin) Economic Development department.

The goal is to determine which emerging green industries have the best potential for growth in each area. Chicago’s south suburbs has a strong metal manufacturing base and hopes of capturing jobs manufacturing wind and solar equipment parts. Delta and others are in the process of identifying manufacturers in the area with potential to become suppliers to larger equipment manufacturers. Indianapolis is known for its health related businesses such as the Lily Corporation. Economic development staff in that city is eager to learn more about the potential to nurture local and healthy food systems.

Each year over the next four years, Delta will also select a few new sustainable businesses that need help identifying industrial locations for their operations. This first year we are assisting a new affiliate of ours, the ReBuilding Exchange, to assess the market for the resale of deconstructed building materials and identify industrial building space for this new sustainable business. Delta is also assisting a new composting business in selecting a suitable site and securing subsidies for a large-scale commercial composting operation.

Research and training will also demonstrate greener remediation options at a few brownfield sites each year.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to expand the work we are already doing in the region and have funding to bring new ideas and tools to brownfield challenges that are linked to the greener economy,” said Chris Slattery, Delta’s Sustainable Economic Development Program Manager.

If you are interested in learning more about these programs, please send an email to or visit to receive future information and updates.

About the Delta Redevelopment Brownfield Blog
April 8, 2009, 2:55 pm
Filed under: 1

Green Ideas for Brownfields

This is the Delta Redevelopment Institute’s inaugural brownfields blog. Our goal is to share information that will be developed with major new grant support from the U.S. EPA. Our focus is on identifying sustainable reuse and remediation strategies for brownfield sites in weak market areas. Over the next four years you can read more about:

  • Green economic development opportunities linked to new green policies in the region, such as climate change action plans, green building and waste recycling mandates;
  • Greener cleanup options;
  • Sustainable reuse case studies; and
  • Conference and workshop training opportunities in the Great Lakes region.

We also would love to hear your “brownfield-to-green-job” ideas or share your success story. We hope this blog will give you an opportunity to learn and dialog with other brownfield stakeholders on this topic. For more information, please contact Deb Popely at

or Vanessa Roanhorse at

The Delta Redevelopment Institute