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EPA announces $300,000 Brownfields grant to Harrisburg

$3.9 million for Pa. Brownfields

06/25/2019
Contact Information: 

HARRISBURG, Pa.  (June 25, 2019) – Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency presented a $300,000 Brownfields assessment grant to the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Harrisburg.

Harrisburg is one of the nine communities in Pennsylvania, and a total of 149 communities nationwide, selected to receive 151 grant awards totaling $64,623,553 in EPA Brownfields funding.  These funds will aid under-served and economically disadvantaged communities in opportunity zones and other parts of the country in assessing and cleaning up abandoned industrial and commercial properties.

“I congratulate the Harrisburg Redevelopment Authority, and its partners, for their outstanding efforts in brownfields redevelopment and am glad to support further progress,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio, “The grant awarded today is another step forward in bringing critical investment for revitalization in the city, and in its Opportunity Zones.”

The Redevelopmental Authority (HRA) will conduct environmental site assessments and complete cleanup plans for sites potentially contaminated by petroleum or hazardous substances. Grant funds also will be used to develop a area-wide plan for two new areas, identify sites to add to the existing site inventory, and conduct community outreach activities. HRA will target activites in the Derry Street Transit-Oriented Development Area and the Cameron Street Corridor. 

These efforts build on the results of a 2017 brownfields grant to HRA to develop an area-plan for South Allison Hill neighborhood's Industrial Park.  HRA focused on five catalyst sites along key commercial transportation areas.  This effort resulted in an inventory of brownfields sites and a plan for assesing them.

Grants awarded by EPA’s Brownfield Program provide communities across the country with an opportunity to transform contaminated sites into community assets that attract jobs and achieve broader economic development outcomes while taking advantage of existing infrastructure. For example, Brownfields grants have been shown to:

· Increase Local Tax Revenue: A study of 48 brownfields sites found that an estimated $29 million to $97 million in additional local tax revenue was generated 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 sites.
· Increase Residential Property Values: Another study found that property values of homes near revitalized brownfields sites increased between 5 and 15% following cleanup.

Background

A brownfield is a property for which the expansion, redevelopment or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant. There are estimated to be more than 450,000 brownfields in the U.S. As of May 2019, under the EPA Brownfields Program 30,153 properties have been assessed, and 86,131 acres of idle land have been made ready for productive use. In addition, communities have been able to use Brownfields grants to leverage 150,120 jobs and more than $28 billion of public and private funding.

In 2018 Congress reauthorized the statutory authority for the Brownfields Program. The reauthorization included changes to the program to expand the list of entities eligible for Brownfields grants, increase the limit of individual Brownfields cleanup grants to $500,000, and add grant authority for Multipurpose grants. These important changes will help communities address and cleanup more complex brownfield sites.

The 2019 National Brownfields Training Conference will be held on December 11-13 in Los Angeles, California. Offered every two years, this conference is the largest gathering of stakeholders focused on cleaning up and reusing formerly utilized commercial and industrial properties. EPA cosponsors this event with the International City/County Management Association.

For a list of all of the grants selected for funding: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/applicants-selected-fy19-brownfields-multipurpose-assessment-and-cleanup-grants

For the booklet “Brownfields: Properties with New Purpose, Improving Local Economies in Communities with Brownfield Sites”: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2019-06/documents/bf_booklet.pdf

For more on the Brownfields Grants: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/types-brownfields-grant-funding

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

More on the 2019 Brownfields Conference: https://www.brownfields2019.org