EPA brownfields grants pump $1.75 million into western Pa.
Funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s brownfields program will provide $1.75 million in grants to help revitalize abandoned industrial and commercial properties in five western Pennsylvania communities.
“Brownfields initiatives demonstrate how environmental protection and economic development work hand-in-hand. This funding will put western Pennsylvania communities 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.
Welsh joined local business and government leaders today as he announced that EPA has selected the following organizations to receive brownfields funding: the Pittsburgh North Side Industrial Development Company, the Washington County Authority, Cambria County Redevelopment Authority, Johnstown Redevelopment Authority and the Clearfield County Economic Development Corp.
The announcement was made at the McKees Rocks Industrial Enterprises property in McKees Rocks, which is one of several communities in the Chartiers Creek watershed that will benefit from two grants totaling $400,000 going to the North Side Industrial Development Company. These grants are for assessing brownfields properties in McKees Rocks, Coraopolis, Carnegie, Bridgeville Township and Stowe Townships. These communities once thrived with industries that supported the rail and steel industries, but now contain numerous abandoned industrial sites.
The other grants announced include:
· Three grants totaling $550,000 to the Washington County Authority to clean up three buildings that were part of the former Western Center State School and Hospital.
· Two grants totaling $400,000 to the Clearfield County Economic Development Corp. to assess properties for potential cleanup and development.
· One grant for $200,000 to the Johnstown Redevelopment Authority to help clean up the former Rosedale KOZ/Ore Yard site that was once used to store raw materials for the Bethlehem Steel complex. Site soil is contaminated with heavy metals including zinc, arsenic and cadmium.
· One grant for $200,000 to the Cambria County Redevelopment Authority to assess abandoned properties that were once associated with steel-related industries.
These five communities are among 209 communities nationwide selected to receive 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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