The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is set to give the Wayne County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority a $200,000 grant to support a cleanup and redevelopment plan for DTE Energy Rouge River Power Plant in downtown River Rouge.
The redevelopment authority is expected to “launch a planning initiative to attract developers to invest in high-quality housing located in walkable, transit-oriented, dense neighborhoods with vibrant commercial corridors,” officials said in a statement.
“This brownfields grant will help spur revitalization efforts in downtown River Rouge,” said Region 5 Acting Superfund Director Douglas Ballotti said in announcing the grant last week.
Plans for the DTE Rouge River Power Plant include incorporating the facility and other sites into the proposed Gordie Howe International Bridge project connecting Metro Detroit to Canada, Michigan U.S. Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow said Tuesday.
DTE Energy has announced the River Rouge site was among several in Michigan where coal-fired energy generating units would be retired by 2023. The retirements are part of DTE’s push to transform its energy production from coal fired to what it describes as cleaner sources of energy generation such as wind, natural gas and solar.
“I applaud this grant, which will help attract private investment in the community, stimulate the economy with new jobs and improve the health of River Rouge residents with cleaner air and water,” Peters said.
EPA’s Brownfields Program offers grants and technical assistance to communities, states, tribes as well as others to assess, clean and reuse contaminated properties that may have hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants.
The Wayne County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority is partnering with the Detroit-Wayne County Port Authority, Sierra Club-Southeast Michigan Group, University of Michigan, Southeast Michigan Community Alliance, Ultimate New Beginnings, city of River Rouge, Detroit City Council, Michigan Economic Development Corp., Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice, and Downriver Community Conference.
“I commend the many partners involved in this project,” Stabenow said in a statement Tuesday. “This effort is critically important to the health and safety of local residents and economic growth of the community.”