The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced the award of $600,000 in brownfields grants to Pittsburgh’s North Side Industrial Development Company (NSIDC). The funding will be used to assess abandoned industrial sites in and around Pittsburgh that may be contaminated with hazardous or petroleum substances so that they can be cleaned up and redeveloped.
Brownfields are properties where real or suspected environmental contamination has prevented productive reuse of those properties.
“EPA is committed to working with communities to redevelop Brownfields sites which have plagued their neighborhoods. EPA’s Assessment and Cleanup grants target communities that are economically disadvantaged and include places where environmental cleanup and new jobs are most needed,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “These grants leverage considerable infrastructure and other investments, improving local economies and creating an environment where jobs can grow. I am very pleased the President’s budget recognizes the importance of these grants by providing continued funding for this important program.”
Today’s announcement took place at the Foundry at 41st, a luxury apartment complex in the Lawrenceville section of the city, which is a former brownfields site that was assessed with a previous EPA grant to NSIDC.
“The assessment coalition grants will allow our under-resourced communities to transform idle or contaminated properties back to reuse while allowing all of our city, county, and community partners to address the housing needs and future job opportunities of the most impoverished residents of these once-thriving towns,” said NSIDC Executive Director Juan Garrett.
With this $600,000 in brownfields funding, EPA has provided NSIDC with $5.6 million in EPA brownfields grants since 2005 to support cleanup and redevelopment projects.
NSIDC, a nonprofit corporation, operates to promote the economic and community development of the North Side of the city of Pittsburgh and other areas in southwestern Pennsylvania. The corporation works to enhance communities through job creation, physical improvement, and other community improvements.
EPA’s funding announced today includes two grants. One for $425,000 will be used to assess properties for hazardous substances and the other for $175,000 will assess potential petroleum contamination. Some of the funding will also be used for community outreach. These grants were among 172 brownfields grants that EPA awarded nationwide this year.
Studies have shown that residential property values near brownfields sites that are cleaned up increased between 5 and 15.2 percent and can increase property values within a one-mile radius of that site. A study analyzing data near 48 brownfields sites shows that an estimated $29 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 those brownfields.
As of May 2017, more than 124,759 jobs and $24 billion of public and private funding has been leveraged as a result of assessment grants and other EPA Brownfields grants. On average, $16.11 was leveraged for each EPA Brownfields dollar and 8.5 jobs leveraged per $100,000 of EPA brownfields funds expended on assessment, cleanup, and revolving loan fund cooperative agreements.
Source: Environmental Protection Agency
Date: Aug 4, 2017