New Funding Marks Milestone in Pittsburgh Brownfield Redevelopment

Western Pennsylvania's landscape is littered with brownfields, remnants of the state's industrial past. These abandoned sites not only stagnate community growth, but can also contain serious environmental contaminants. This week, two milestones were made in the remediation of several local sites. The Allegheny Front's Jenelle Pifer reports.

Read the transcript »Close the Transcript

Transcript

HOST: Western Pennsylvania's landscape is littered with brownfields, remnants of the state's industrial past. These abandoned sites not only stagnate community growth, but can also contain serious environmental contaminants. This week, two milestones were made in the remediation of several local sites. The Allegheny Front's Jenelle Pifer reports.

PIFER: The old site of the Pennsylvania and Lake Erie Railroad in McKees Rocks has been vacant for over 15 years. Low vegetation and collapsed buildings now cover this sprawling brownfield. But not for long. Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection has been working in the area since 2007. And this week, plans were announced to transform the site into a new business park.

DEP Secretary Mike Krancer says the benefits of brownfield redevelopment are two-fold.

KRANCER: It's a win win, because what we're doing is removing environmental threats and providing an engine for the community's successful revitalization at the same time.

PIFER: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency previously funded the environmental study of the site, and the state has now put up $1 million toward cleaning, covering and removing the area's contaminated soil. The planned business facility is estimated to bring in about 1,800 jobs and over $13 million in state and local taxes.

A new $1 million EPA grant was also awarded this week to the North Side Industrial Development Company to begin redevelopment of brownfields in other Pittsburgh river communities.

For The Allegheny Front, I'm Jenelle Pifer.