Illinois officials have awarded Schaumburg a $43,000 grant to assess any possible contamination on a 54-acre former farm field targeted for development.
The Environment Protection Agency's Municipal Brownfields Redevelopment Grant will determine the extent of environmental hazards on the Murzyn-Anderson property at the corner of Irving Park and Rodenburg roads.
The village finished buying the property in separate parcels for $7.8 million several years ago in order to make it ready for some type of large, unified development that could materialize in the future.
It's one of the last large parcels available in the village, and its proximity to the Schaumburg baseball stadium, airport and The Sport Center could make it a prime spot for commercial development, Village Manager Ken Fritz said.
"Land is one of those limited commodities," he added.
The village is working with the IEPA to allay any concerns about possible contamination of the site, but Fritz said there was never any intensive commercial or industrial use on the land.
"It seems like a lot of hoops to jump through for something that was a farm," Fritz said.
The land was mistakenly classified as a landfill when some people briefly did some illegal dumping there in the '70s, Fritz said. It's unclear whether that is the basis for the IEPA's lingering concerns.
Depending on what the study finds, the village may then have to proceed with site cleanup before development of the land. The IEPA will provide direct technical support and oversight and continue to assist the village until redevelopment is complete.
The state agency has awarded $18.5 million to 132 Illinois community for environmental investigation and cleanup since October 1998.
• Associated Press contributed to this report.