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EPA Funds To Pave the Way for New Businesses and Green Spaces

Release Date: 6/15/2004
Contact Information: Contact: Bonnie Smith, 215-814-5543

Contact: Bonnie Smith, 215-814-5543

PHILADELPHIA - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced funding for 15 brownfield projects in 12 communities throughout the mid-Atlantic region. Brownfields are abandoned, industrial and commercial properties where contamination has been a barrier to expansion or redevelopment.

“The success of our brownfields initiative demonstrates how environmental protection and economic development go hand-in-hand. Brownfields grants and revolving loans help communities assess, and if needed, clean up an abandoned eyesore, provide employment, and turn problem properties into productive reuse,” said Donald S. Welsh, administrator for EPA’s mid-Atlantic region.

EPA will fund a brownfields project in Baltimore, Maryland.

In Pennsylvania, brownfields projects will be funded in Philadelphia; Pittsburgh; on the Monogahela River; York; Johnstown; Central City and Bucks County.

In Virginia, EPA will fund brownfields projects in Hampton and Richmond.

In West Virginia, projects in Parkersburg and Ranson/Charles Town will be funded.

A summary of the grants is attached. For additional information and fact sheets on each project funded see EPA’s website at

Funds are made available under the Brownfields Revitalization Act for brownfield grants for assessment, cleanup and job training, and for state revolving loan funds and state grants programs. The 2002 law expanded the definition of what’s considered a brownfield, so communities may now include sites contaminated with petroleum, as well as lands scarred by mining. This round of brownfields funding is the largest ever provided by EPA.

Assessment grants are used to inventory, characterize and conduct planning relating to brownfield sites or as part of a community-wide effort. Cleanup grants provide funding for brownfields cleanup activities. An eligible entity may apply for up to $200,000 per site for as many as five sites.

The brownfields program encourages redevelopment of America’s 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites. Since the beginning of the brownfields program, nationwide EPA has awarded 554 assessment grants totaling more than $150 million, 171 revolving loan funds totaling more than $145 million, and 66 cleanup grants totaling $11.4 million.

Redevelopment approaches have include the conversion of industrial waterfronts to river-front parks, landfills to golf courses, and rail corridors to recreational trails.

To date, EPA’s brownfields program has leveraged over $5.2 billion in public and private investments that have turned abandoned industrial properties into thriving economic and recreational areas and green spaces. For every dollar of federal money spent on brownfields cleanup activities, cities and states produce or leverage $2.50 in private investment and preserved 4.5 acres of green space for every acre of brownfields redeveloped. EPA brownfields pilots have helped create more than 26,000 cleanup, construction and redevelopment jobs and assessed more than 4,500 properties.

2004 EPA mid-Atlantic Region Brownfields Grant Recipients

Borough of Central City, Somerset County, Pa. B $200,000 Assessment Grant B to assess contamination caused by acid mine drainage in the Dark Shade Creek Watershed. The entire 34-square-mile watershed is scarred with mountains of coal waste that leach metals and acids into the soil and surface water. The project=s goal is to transform the Dark Shade Valley into a cleaner, healthier area.

City of Hampton, Va. B $200,000 Assessment Grant B to select and assess potential brownfields sites throughout the city. The City=s Downtown Technology Zone, a designated redevelopment zone, will be the focal area of the grant activities.

City of Parkersburg, W.Va. B $200,000 Assessment Grant - to assess sites throughout the city contaminated with oil and gas. Parkersburg was the industrial center for the Mid-Ohio Valley, and much of the downtown and surrounding areas were dotted with oil storage and refining operations.

Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority B $160,000 Assessment Grant B to assess contamination on a former service station property located in the economically depressed area of the city, known as the Hill District. Environmental impacts of spills, improper use of the sewer system and leaking above-ground and underground gas tanks will be evaluated.

Cities of Charles Town and Ranson, W.Va. B $145,000 Assessment Grant B to continue progress on the ACommerce Corridor Brownfields Revitalization,@ a project that seeks to redevelop an abandoned corridor of blighted properties. The plan is to turn the corridor into a complex of commercial and retail businesses, parks and recreational space and government facilities to serve these growing communities on the edge of the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area.

City of Richmond, Va. B $200,000 Assessment Grant B to identify the city=s multiple brownfields sites where the contamination is petroleum-related and assist with assessment cost. No individual sites have been selected, rather, the city will distribute the money as eligible sites are identified.

West-to-West Coalition, Duquesne, Pa. B $400,000 Assessment Grant B to provide brownfields expertise to local planning boards and redevelopment authorities in the Monongahela River Valley. Their expertise is geared toward assessment of sites contaminated with hazardous substances or petroleum.

Redevelopment Authority of the County of York, York, Pa. B $350,000 Assessment Grant B to assess contamination along the Codorus Creek. The Codorus, like many waterways, is a fundamental organizing feature in the planning and development of York. Today, the corridor has over 250 acres of abandoned or underutilized brownfield sites.

City of Baltimore B $200,000 Cleanup Grant B to clean up two sites in the Brooklyn-Fairfield area of Baltimore. One property is a former salvage yard that holds promise for accommodating new development to complement the adjacent Brooklyn commercial area. The other property, the Old Fairfield site, is also a former salvage yard. It is currently an eyesore and dumping ground, but together once the two sites are cleaned up, they will further the city=s efforts to establish an eco-industrial park.

Bucks County, Pa. B $1 Million Revolving Loan Fund Grant B which will allow the county to establish and manage a revolving loan fund that will be used to finance the remediation of hazardous substances and /or petroleum at numerous brownfields properties throughout the county. In particular, the loans will target portions of six communities in Lower Bucks County that have been designated as an enterprise zone.

Johnstown Redevelopment Authority B $800,000 Cleanup &Assessment Grants B which will go towards cleaning up the Bethlehem Steel Lower Works Complex and redeveloping the site as an historical center and a light industrial complex. Part of the money will be used to assess contamination at various former industrial properties throughout inner-city Johnstown.

City of Philadelphia B $300,000 Assessment Grant B to conduct an assessment and develop a cleanup plan for a four-acre site that was used, since the 1800s, for petroleum storage and distribution.