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Roy Seneca, 215-814-5567
PHILADELPHIA -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency presented the City of Philadelphia with $150,000 today to continue to assess and revitalize brownfields properties. Brownfields are properties where real or suspected environmental contamination has prevented productive reuse and redevelopment.
"This is a magnificent way for the city to take properties that may have been community eyesores and turn them into parks, open spaces, or business locations that are productive to the community," said Bradley Campbell, EPA’s regional administrator.
Campbell presented the brownfields funding check to city officials during a ceremony at Liberty Lands Park in the Northern Liberties area of Philadelphia. Afterwards, officials assisted neighborhood children in planting a tree at the park. The park, which is the site of an abandoned tannery, is an example of a brownfields property that has been cleaned up and now provides green space to the urban neighborhood.
Today’s grant includes $50,000 to specifically assess the potential of converting other brownfields properties in the city to green space.
With today’s grant, EPA has now provided the City of Philadelphia with $900,000 in funding to assess, clean up and revitalize brownfields sites.
Philadelphia is one of 56 municipalities nationwide to receive supplemental brownfields funding to continue revitalizing neighborhoods. In selecting projects, EPA focused on firm redevelopment plans, as well as a commitment to both cleanup and redevelopment after the brownfields assessment is completed. Productive reuse runs the gamut from developing commercial and industrial properties, to cultivating greenspaces such as parks, playgrounds, trails and gardens.
Brownfields come in all shapes and sizes, with local success stories including the Northern Liberties area of Philadelphia. Here, the citizens received EPA assistance in assessing the abandoned tannery site. The property was assessed, cleaned up and is now used as the neighborhood’s only green space. Many lesser-known brownfields have made positive and powerful impacts in rural towns and inner cities throughout the mid-Atlantic states.
For more information on EPA’s brownfields program, check out http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/.