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EPA announces $2.7 million in Brownfields Grants for Pennsylvania

EPA designates a total of $54.5 million for Brownfields nationwide

04/25/2018
Contact Information: 
Roy Seneca (seneca.roy@epa.gov)
215-814-5567

WASHINGTON (April 25, 2018) – Today, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today awarded 144 communities that will receive Brownfields grants for environmental assessment, revolving loan funds, and cleanups. The 221 grants totaling $54.3 million will provide communities with funding to assess, clean up and redevelop underutilized properties while protecting public health and the environment. The grants include $2.7 million to support seven Brownfields projects in Pennsylvania.

“EPA’s Brownfields Program expands the ability of communities to recycle vacant and abandoned properties for new, productive reuses, using existing infrastructure" said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. "These grants leverage other public and private investments, and improve local economies through property cleanup and redevelopment.”

“EPA’s Brownfields grants provide a boost to communities by helping to put people back to work while also creating cleaner, healthier and economically stronger neighborhoods,” said EPA Region 3 Administrator Cosmo Servidio. “Pennsylvania communities will use this funding to explore ideas on how properties can be cleaned up and returned to productive use.”

The seven Brownfields projects in Pennsylvania include the following:

Lycoming County will receive an $800,000 revolving loan fund grant to support cleanup activities for Brownfields sites contaminated with hazardous substances. The county will focus much of this funding to support City of Williamsport and Muncy Borough, both of which have supported industry since the early 19th century due to their proximity to rail lines.

“Lycoming County is pleased and honored to be the recipient of this grant and thankful to continue our partnership with the EPA and our community partners,” said Community Development/Lead Planner of the County Department of Planning & Community Development Jenny Picciano. “Grant funds will allow the county to clean up Brownfields sites identified in prior assessment grants, leverage public and private funding for economic redevelopment, and ultimately reinvest in our communities.”

Butler County will receive $600,000 to conduct site assessments on properties that could be contaminated with petroleum or hazardous substances, and determine the feasibility for cleanup and redevelopment. Assessments will focus on the City of Butler and Petrolia Borough. Funds will also support community outreach activities.

“This grant will provide the Butler County coalition with the opportunity to assess industrial legacy Brownfields properties throughout the county, with the ultimate goal of repurpose and beneficial use,” said Chief of Economic Development and Planning, Butler County Mark S Gordon. “This collaborative initiative is one of many aimed at creating opportunities for economic growth.”

The Clearfield County Economic Development Corp. will receive $300,000 to conduct site assessments on properties that could be contaminated with petroleum or hazardous substances, and determine the feasibility for cleanup and redevelopment. Assessments will focus on mine-scarred properties in DuBois and Clearfield boroughs. Funds will also support community outreach activities.

A statement from the Clearfield County Commissioners said the grant: “…will enable Clearfield County to take land previously thought unusable and turn the same into springboards for economic and community growth. It will enable future generations to also reap the benefit of land once believed to have outlived its usefulness.”

The Greene County Industrial Development Authority will receive $300,000 to conduct site assessments on properties that may be contaminated with petroleum or hazardous substances, and determine the feasibility for cleanup and redevelopment. Assessments will target the municipalities of Monongahela, Waynesburg, and Cumberland. Funds will also support community outreach activities.

“This grant will be used for the assessment of unknown potentially hazardous or contaminated sites that resulted from past industrial use,” said Chairman of the Green County Board of Commissioners Blair Zimmerman. “We are hopeful that these sites will be able to be utilized to attract future development to Greene County.”

Norristown will receive $300,000 to conduct site assessments on properties that could be contaminated with petroleum or hazardous substances, and determine the feasibility for cleanup and redevelopment. Funds will also support community outreach activities.

“This funding will allow Norristown to continue on the road of redevelopment and revitalization that we have been working towards,” said Norristown Municipal Administrator Crandall O. Jones. “We have felt the impacts of former industrial sites sitting idle and loss of jobs and our workforce. However, with the assistance of EPA funding, we have been able to step in front of the problem of historic environmental legacy issues and remove the obstacle of unknown and uncontained impacts.”

Earth Conservancy will receive $200,000 to clean up a 400-foot segment of Espy Run that runs through the City of Nanticoke and Hanover Township. Espy Run travels through mine-scarred lands once used for anthracite mining. The stream is impacted by sedimentation and acid mine drainage. Grant funds will also support community outreach activities and monitoring.

“The EPA’s continued support of Earth Conservancy is a testament to partnerships working to improve the environment from past damages,” said Earth Conservancy President and CEO Mike Dziak. “The generous support we are receiving for this third segment in the ongoing restoration of Espy Run – which was destroyed decades ago by anthracite mining – will repair the streamway and mitigate the production of acid mine drainage downstream. When complete, the restored Espy Run will create habitat for wildlife and enhance quality of life for those nearby.”

Lawrence County will receive $200,000 to conduct site assessments on properties that could be contaminated with hazardous substances, and determine the feasibility for cleanup and redevelopment. Assessment activities will target the City of New Castle’s gateway corridors. Funds will also support community outreach activities.

“Having been the recipient of $600,000 of EPA funds in the past, the Lawrence County Economic Development Corporation has successfully utilized the funds to benefit both economic development and community development projects,” said Director of Economic Business Development for LCEDC Linda D. Nitch. “We look forward to utilizing this new grant award to further develop activities in New Castle.”

The Brownfields Program targets communities that are economically disadvantaged and provides funding and assistance to transform contaminated sites into assets that can generate jobs and spur economic growth. A study analyzing 48 Brownfields sites found that an estimated $29 million to $97 million in additional tax revenue was generated for local governments in a single year after cleanup. This is two-to-seven times more than the $12.4 million EPA contributed to the cleanup of these Brownfield sites. Another study found that property values of homes located near Brownfields sites that are cleaned up increased between 5 and 15 percent post cleanup.

Communities can use Brownfields funding to leverage considerable infrastructure and other financial resources. For example, EPA’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund can be used to address the water quality aspects of Brownfield sites and the assessment and construction of drinking water infrastructure on Brownfields, respectively. EPA’s Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program may also serve as a potential source of long-term, low-cost supplemental financing to fund Brownfields project development and implementation activities to address water quality aspects of Brownfields.

List of the FY 2018 Applicants Selected for Funding: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/applicants-selected-fy18-brownfields-assessment-revolving-loan-fund-and-cleanup-grants.

For more information on the ARC grants: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/types-brownfields-grant-funding.

For more information on EPA’s Brownfields Program: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields.

For more information on how Brownfields restoration has positively impacted local economies and the quality of life for neighboring communities: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/brownfields-success-stories.