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Will help underserved communities ‘Build Back Better’ and address Environmental Justice concerns

06/03/2021

EPA Announces the Selection of Six Communities in Pennsylvania to Receive $3 Million in Brownfields Assessment and Cleanup Funding

Will help underserved communities ‘Build Back Better’ and address Environmental Justice concerns

PHILDELPHIA (June 3, 2021) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is announcing the selection of 151 communities to receive 154 grant awards totaling $66.5 million in Brownfields funding through its Multipurpose, Assessment and Cleanup (MAC) Grants. This includes $3 million for communities in Pennsylvania.

This funding will support underserved and economically disadvantaged communities across the country in assessing and cleaning up contaminated and abandoned industrial and commercial properties. Approximately 50 percent of selected recipients will be receiving EPA Brownfields Grant funding for the first time and more than 85 percent are in small communities.

“Through our Brownfields Program, EPA is delivering on the Biden Administration’s commitment to lifting up and protecting overburdened communities across America, especially communities that have experienced long periods of disinvestment and decay,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “These assessment and cleanup grants will not only support economic growth and job creation, but they will also empower communities to address the environmental, public health, and social issues associated with contaminated land.”

These MAC grants include:

  • $42.2 million for 107 Assessment Grants, which will provide funding for brownfield inventories, planning, environmental assessments, and community outreach.

  • $15.5 million for 36 Cleanup Grants, which will provide funding to carry out cleanup activities at brownfield sites owned by the recipient.

    The MAC grant recipients in Pennsylvania are:

EPA has selected JASTECH Development Services, Inc., for a Brownfields Cleanup Grant. Grant funds will be used to clean up two brownfield sites in West Philadelphia located at 6122 and 6150 Lancaster Avenue. Historically, 6122 Lancaster operated as a filling station, motorcycle repair facility, and auto repair shop and storage facility. 6150 Lancaster was formerly a building supply and construction materials company. The 6122 Lancaster site is contaminated with semi-volatile organic compounds and 6150 Lancaster is contaminated with heavy metals and hydrocarbon-related materials. Grant funds also will be used for reuse planning and community engagement activities. The sites are located in an environmental justice community.

Butler County, Pennsylvania

Assessment Grant $600,000

EPA has selected Butler County for a Brownfields Assessment Coalition Grant. Community-wide grant funds will be used to complete the county’s site inventory, conduct 12 Phase I and 15 Phase II environmental site assessments, and prepare four cleanup plans and two reuse plans. Grant funds also will be used to host up to 36 Steering Committee meetings and 24 public meetings. Assessment activities will focus on 14 sites throughout distressed regions of Butler County. Coalition partners are the Housing and Redevelopment Authority of the County of Butler, Butler Economic Development Corporation, and the City of Butler.

EPA has selected the City of McKeesport for a Brownfields Cleanup Grant. Grant funds will be used to clean up the Former Penn-McKee Hotel located at 122 Fifth Avenue. The now-vacant property operated as a hotel from the 1920s until the early 1990s. Its restaurant and ballroom were the centers of social life in McKeesport. It is contaminated with inorganic materials.

EPA has selected the North Side Industrial Development Company for a Brownfields Assessment Coalition Grant. Coalition grant funds will be used to complete a site inventory and select sites for assessment, conduct 14 Phase I and 14 Phase II environmental site assessments, and complete four cleanup plans. Grant funds also will be used for community engagement, including 12 coalition meetings and 12 public meetings. Coalition partners are the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh and the Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County.

$300,000

EPA has selected the SEDA-Council of Governments for a Brownfields Assessment Grant. Community-wide grant funds will be used to conduct six Phase I and three Phase II environmental site assessments. Grant funds also will be used for cleanup and reuse planning activities and to conduct community outreach activities, including the facilitation of 12 community meetings. The target area for this grant is the City of Shamokin, a former railroad, mining, and mill town. Assessment activities will focus on five priority brownfield sites located in flood zones or historic areas.

EPA has selected the Somerset County Economic Development Council for a Brownfields Assessment Coalition Grant. Coalition grant funds will be used to conduct 15 Phase I and 11 Phase II environmental site assessments, as well as complete four cleanup plans and prepare reuse plans for three areas. Grant funds also will be used to host 12 coalition meetings and 24 public meetings. Assessment activities will focus on 16 priority sites throughout Somerset County, with a focus on Somerset Borough. Coalition partners are Somerset Borough, Somerset, Inc., and the Redevelopment Authority of Somerset County.

The list of all the fiscal year 2021 applicants selected for funding is available here: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/applicants-selected-fy-2021-brownfields-multipurpose-assessment-and-cleanup-grants.

EPA anticipates that it will award the grants once all legal and administrative requirements are satisfied by the selected recipients.

Since its inception in 1995, EPA’s Brownfields Program has provided nearly $1.76 billion in grants to assess and clean up contaminated properties and return them to productive reuse. This has led to significant benefits for communities across the country. For example,

  • To date, communities participating in the Brownfields Program have been able to attract more than $34.4 billion in cleanup and redevelopment funding after receiving Brownfields funds. This has led to over 175,500 jobs in cleanup, construction, and redevelopment.

  • Based on grant recipient reporting, recipients leveraged on average $20.13 for each EPA Brownfields dollar and 10.3 jobs per $100,000 of EPA Brownfield Grant funds expended on assessment, cleanup, and revolving loan fund cooperative agreements.

  • In addition, an academic peer-reviewed study has found that residential properties near brownfield sites increased in value by 5% to 15.2% because of cleanup activities.

  • Finally, analyzing data near 48 brownfields, EPA found an estimated $29 million to $97 million in additional tax revenue for local governments in a single year after cleanup—2 to 7 times more than the $12.4 million EPA contributed to the cleanup of those brownfield sites.

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

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