COD Redevelopment Project (2008 Grant)

Completed in 2012


The City of Blue Island is a 4.5 square mile, 170-year-old city of 23,500 people that borders the southwest corner of Chicago. Its current land use patterns and economic status reflect its history as a transportation and industrial hub, with a downtown Main Street shopping district. In 2005, the City adopted the Blue Island Plan for Economic Development (created by the Center for Neighborhood Technology), which proposes redevelopment based on TOD and COD areas. The success of the TOD and COD redevelopment areas are interrelated and mutually dependent:  the TOD focusing on retail; the COD focusing on industry and jobs. The Blue Island Plan is available online at

In 2008, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) awarded the City of Blue Island (the City) two community-Wide Brownfield Assessment grants for the inventory and assessment of properties located in its Transit & Cargo Orientated Development areas (“TPD” & “COD”):

  • $200,000 Brownfields Assessment grant – Hazardous Substances (COD areas)
  • $200,000 Brownfields Assessment Grant –Petroleum Sites (TOD  & COD areas)

These grants enabled the City to 1) inventory & define priority Brownfield Redevelopment sites within the TOD & COD areas, identify & evaluate potential environmental issues at these properties, and develop strategies to address such issues.


2008 Grant Map

PROJECT PERIOD: Aug. 1, 2008 to Oct. 31, 2012


The City identified 6 tasks and a $400,000 budget for both the petroleum and hazardous (non petroleum) materials grant under the U.S. EPA Brownfields Program Community-Wide Assessment Program.

Task 1: Brownfields Inventory & Priority Site Identification                                                      Mar 2009- Apr 2011  

With the assistance of the consultant, V3 companies, the City inventoried and prioritized brownfields sites located within the COD areas. The inventory used the refined screening criteria developed in Task 1 to assign scores to properties within the project area and to identify a preliminary list for 10 Petroleum and 12 Hazardous sites for conducting Phase I Environmental Assessments (ESAs).

Task 2: Phase I Environmental Assessments                                                                                  Jun 2010 – Mar 2011

After receiving EPA eligibility approval, 22 ESA were performed. All Phase I ESA’s were performed in compliance with EPA’s All Appropriate Inquiries; Final Rule (AAI), 40 CFR Part 312 and the American Society of Testing Materials (ASTM) standards outlined in the ASTM Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments and: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process (Standard E 1527-2005). The focus of this process was the identification of Recognized environmental conditions.

Task 3: Perform Phase II Investigations                                                                                                     Mar – Jul 2012

3A: Market Research & Selection of Phase II Investigation Sites

Following Task 2, two (2) Phase II Environmental Assessments were performed for sites that warrant further consideration. Market research will be conducted which sites are most marketable and which of the proposed land uses identified in the City’s economic  development plan are most feasible. Based on the results of the Phase I ESA’s and the market research, a refined list of the most developable properties will be drafted. From this narrowed list, the brownfields team determined which properties received Phase II site investigations.

3B: Conduct two (2) Phase II ESA’s

Prior to the initiation of Phase II Testing, a Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) and Health & Safety Plan (HASP) was prepared and submitted for EPA review and approval. Following EPA approval of the QAPP & HASP, a Site Sampling Analysis Plan (SAP) was be submitted for each property. The SAP’s included information on proposed soil and/or groundwater sample locations, analytical parameters and frequency of sampling. Field investigation activities will be performed in accordance with applicable state and federal protocol.

Task 4: Redevelopment Strategy- Cleanup Plan                                                                         Nov 2010- Oct 2012

Data collected during Phase II site investigations were analyzed according to state protocol. The evaluation documented the location and levels of contamination and include the following:

4A: Compile and Evaluate Data

Phase I assessment results for 2 sites were compiled and evaluated relative to the applicable state protocols. This evaluation included a determination as to where contamination exists, and if so, whether it was of any significance. In addition, contaminant types and concentrations were identified, and their significance explained. Areas of particular concern were be identified.

4B: Re-Evaluate Selected Redevelopment Sites

Based on the results of the field investigations, the selected Redevelopment Sites were be re-evaluated relative to their potential for successful redevelopment. The City will also determine whether candidate sites should be entered into the SRP. Such decisions will be based on a range of considerations.

4C: Develop Closure Options & Preliminary Cost Estimates

Based on the fact that the end use will be residential and retail/commercial, a variety of options will be available to obtain risk-based closure. Such options will be identified ion the basis of sampling results, and carefully evaluated relative to the site design and City’s directives.

Task 5: Outreach, Programming and Travel                                                                                            Sep 2008 – Jul 2012

Community Outreach efforts solicited input as well as kept the public informed about the status of the project. Communication channels utilized included the City’s website and television station, media relations, a kiosk at the library and updates at public meetings. Funds were budgeted to send up to three City staff representatives to national and local brownfields conferences.

Task 6: Community Health Monitoring                                                                                                      Sep 2008 – Oct 2012

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