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EPA Invests $1.4 Million to Help Redevelop Abandoned Sites in Western Pennsylvania

Release Date: 06/06/2011
Contact Information: Roy Seneca seneca.roy@epa.gov (215)814-5567

PHILADELPHIA (June 6, 2010) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced $1.4 million in new investments to assess numerous abandoned properties in Western Pennsylvania communities slated for redevelopment. EPA’s brownfields grants will help the North Side Industrial Development Company in Pittsburgh and the Washington County Redevelopment Authority transform vacant and contaminated lands into environmentally and economically- viable places.

“Brownfields initiatives demonstrate how environmental protection and economic development work hand-in-hand,” said Shawn M. Garvin, regional administrator for EPA’s mid-Atlantic region. “Along with generating jobs, these grants will help southwestern Pennsylvania communities convert vacant industrial properties into assets for the community, the environment, and the economy.”

The North Side Industrial Development Company, which serves Allegheny and Westmoreland Counties, will receive two grants totaling $1 million that will be used to assess abandoned industrial sites in multiple communities along the Ohio and Allegheny Rivers in and around Pittsburgh. The assessments are expected to facilitate the redevelopment of brownfields into advanced manufacturing facilities for new technologies such as robotics, medical devices, and precision instruments.

The Washington County Redevelopment Authority will receive two grants totaling $400,000 to assess Washington County properties that once thrived as an industrial and coal mining center. Plant closings have resulted in significant job losses that left behind hundreds of acres of vacant and underused contaminated lands. There are 136 brownfields sites in the county, the majority of which are former industrial facilities and mine-scarred lands. The brownfields assessments are expected to facilitate the county’s comprehensive cleanup and sustainable redevelopment plan to transform sites into community parks, reuse existing buildings, and incorporate green building techniques.

EPA’s brownfields program encourages redevelopment of America’s estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites. Brownfield grants help to assess, clean and redevelop abandoned, contaminated properties known as brownfields. Brownfields are sites where expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. Grant recipients are selected through a national competition.

Since the beginning of the program in 1995, EPA has investeed 1,895 assessment grants totaling over $447.6 million, 279 revolving loan fund grants totaling more than $273.1 million, and 752 cleanup grants totaling $140.8 million.

Additional information on the EPA brownfields program is available at http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/ . Additional information on grant recipients is available at http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/grant_info/index.htm .