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Lehigh Valley selected for $200,000 EPA grant


Funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s brownfields program will help Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley assess abandoned industrial properties for potential redevelopment.

“Brownfields initiatives demonstrate how environmental protection and economic development work hand-in-hand. This funding will put the Lehigh Valley on a path to reclaim properties that have been unused for years and turn those sites into assets for the community, the environment and the economy,” said Donald S. Welsh, administrator for EPA’s mid-Atlantic region.

EPA officials announced today that the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp. was selected to receive a $200,000 grant that will be used for environmental assessments of abandoned industrial sites in Northampton and Lehigh counties in eastern Pennsylvania. The brownfields assessments will help determine the extent of environmental contamination at selected sites and catalyze investment in brownfields redevelopment. With this grant, Lehigh Valley will have received $1 million in five brownfields assessment grants since 2003.

“This grant acts as an encouragement for our community to invest in old industrial properties that are a legacy of the rich market economy of the Lehigh Valley,” said Philip B. Mitman, chief operating officer for the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp.

The Lehigh Valley is one of 209 communities nationwide receiving more than $74 million in brownfields-related funding this year. Brownfields are generally abandoned industrial properties where redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived contamination. EPA estimates there are more than 450,000 brownfields in the U.S. Cleaning up and reinvesting in these properties increases local tax bases, facilitates job growth, utilizes existing infrastructure, limits development pressures on undeveloped, open land, and both improves and protects the environment.


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