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Sorensen Announces Half a Million Dollars to Support Environmental Cleanup in Sterling

Congressman Eric Sorensen (IL-17) is joining the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to announce a $500,000 grant to revitalize a 3.5-acre contaminated brownfield site in downtown Sterling. A brownfield site is a piece of property that has been contaminated by pollutants or hazardous materials and needs to be cleaned up to use. 


"Too many communities in Central and Northwestern Illinois face the impacts of pollution from decades ago," said Sorensen. "I'm thrilled to join the Environmental Protection Agency to announce this funding to build up hard-hit areas and set up Sterling to be more successful economically for generations to come. This is what it means to be a good neighbor, to make sure that our communities are healthier and stronger.”   

“As a newly elected Mayor, I am over the moon about the City of Sterling receiving the US EPA Brownfield Grant. This grant will allow us to clean up the Lawrence Buildings, which are dilapidated, but have some good bones and amazing architecture, to pave the way for a new future for our City. This grant will revitalize our area by allowing us to bring our first hotel in decades, which will, in turn, spur tourism growth and opportunities,” said Sterling Mayor Diana Merdian. 


The funding will be used to remove hazardous materials from a site with five interconnected buildings that once housed Lawrence Brothers Hardware. The site was contaminated over the span of decades with asbestos, lead-based paint, mercury, heavy metals, and more. 


To support the economic growth of downtown Sterling, the grant will kickstart cleaning efforts to remove the hazardous waste and pollution to revitalize the area. This effort is part of Sterling’s riverfront redevelopment plan. 

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