EPA Celebrates 20 Years of Superfund Redevelopment at the Peters Cartridge Superfund site in Kings Mills, Ohio
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 19-OPA059
KINGS MILLS, OHIO (July 31, 2019) — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) commemorates the 20th anniversary of the Superfund Redevelopment Initiative (SRI), launched in 1999 with the goal of returning formerly contaminated lands to long-term sustainable and productive reuse for communities across the country. To mark the occasion, EPA Region 5 Administrator Cathy Stepp joined local leaders at the Peters Cartridge Superfund site, a former ammunitions plant and abandoned factory site which will become luxury apartments with commercial space, including a brewery. Returning Superfund sites back to productive use has resulted in dramatic changes in communities by improving the quality of life, raising property values, and providing needed services to communities.
“Over the past 20 years, the Superfund Redevelopment Initiative has proven that incorporating reuse early in the process removes barriers to redevelopment and ensures that cleanup plans promote future economic and recreational opportunities,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Thanks to SRI, hundreds of formerly contaminated sites have been transformed into hubs of economic, recreational, or residential activity. Promoting redevelopment and community revitalization is a top priority of this Administration and one of the key goals of the Agency’s Superfund Task Force.”
“The Peters Cartridge site is a perfect example of taking a blighted property and transforming it into a space for people to live, play and enjoy their historic neighborhood,” Stepp said. “Once the redevelopment is complete, the area will breathe new life into the local community and be a source of pride for the residents.
The Peters Cartridge Factory, located along the Miami River Trail, produced ordnance and shot shell ammunition at the site from 1887 to 1934. The Remington Arms Co. purchased Peters Cartridge in 1934 and continued the production of shot shell and cartridge ammunition at the facility until 1944. In 2012, the site was listed to the National Priorities List, a list of the most contaminated sites in the nation, due to high levels of lead in the soil.
Before the agency’s Redevelopment Initiative, sites were cleaned up but not necessarily put back into productive use. By considering reuse early in the site cleanup process, the Redevelopment Initiative helps ensure that desired future uses are compatible with site cleanup remedies and removes barriers that could keep areas vacant or underused.
Depending on site conditions and community preferences, sites can be reused for a multitude of purposes, including commercial, recreational, ecological and residential uses. The Redevelopment Initiative has helped communities turn former lumberyards into parks, landfills into solar farms, former smelters into health clinics and gravel pits into baseball fields. EPA provides communities with points of contact, as well as case studies and best practices to help bring these projects to fruition.
Overall, approximately 1,000 Superfund sites are in reuse today--more than half the number of sites on Superfund’s National Priorities List. EPA has data on over 8,600 businesses at 529 of these sites. In fiscal year 2018 alone, these businesses generated $52.4 billion in sales, which is more than four times the amount EPA has spent at these sites. These businesses employed more than 195,000 people who earned a combined income of $13 billion. Over the last 7 years, these businesses generated at least $263 billion in sales.
Superfund redevelopment can also lead to energy independence. Today, 59 Superfund sites are home to alternative energy facilities. As of September 2018, these facilities provided enough energy to power about 95,000 homes. Wind, solar and landfill gas facilities make up about 92 percent of these projects. For example, a 7-megawatt solar farm at the Brick Township Landfill site in New Jersey powers all municipal buildings and community park facilities in the township. A solar array at the Continental Steel site in Kokomo, Indiana, provides enough energy to power 1,000 homes.
Over the last few years, as part of the Superfund Task Force work, EPA developed a nationwide list of Superfund National Priorities List sites with the greatest expected redevelopment potential. The list helps promote a renewed focus on accelerating work and progress at all Superfund sites while working to successfully return sites to productive use after cleanup is completed.
Today’s commemoration kicks off a series of events throughout the next 12 months recognizing Superfund’s achievements in revitalizing communities and protecting human health and the environment.
As part of the commemoration, EPA is releasing SRI’s 20th Anniversary Report https://www.epa.gov/superfund-redevelopment-initiative/epa-celebrates-20-years-superfund-redevelopment.
For more information about EPA’s Superfund Task Force, please visit https://www.epa.gov/superfund/superfund-task-force.
For more information about Superfund redevelopment, please visit the https://www.epa.gov/superfund-redevelopment-initiative.
For more information on regional redevelopment benefits, see the 2018 Redevelopment Beneficial Effects reports for each of our regional offices at https://www.epa.gov/superfund-redevelopment-initiative/redevelopment-economics-superfund-sites#regional.