Pennsylvania Democratic U.S. Sens. John Fetterman (L) and Bob Casey (R) | Capital-Star photo collage by John L. Micek
Pennsylvania communities trying to clean up brownfields will get a helping hand – thanks to an infusion of federal cash, the state’s two Democratic U.S. senators said Friday.
Some $9.6 million of the $14 million in federal aid bound for the Keystone State comes from the bipartisan infrastructure law, U.S. Sens. Bob Casey and John Fetterman said in a joint statement.
The money “will help clean up toxic waste and spills in nineteen different sites all across our Commonwealth,” Fetterman said in a statement. “We’ve got to do everything we can to make sure our communities everywhere, no matter how rural, urban, or suburban, have clean air and water. This critical investment will help us get there.”
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law was signed into law in November 2021, and was, in part, an effort to tackle pollution across the U.S. along with the wider infrastructure of the nation.
“Thanks to the infrastructure law, Pennsylvania can not only clean up contaminated brownfield sites but reinvigorate communities that have suffered from job loss, environmental degradation, and health problems.” Casey said in a statement. “From Darlington to Nanticoke to Philadelphia, this funding will support community revitalization which will create safer environments for children and families and opportunities for new businesses and investment.”
Grant funding for brownfield sites will come from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as part of their Brownfields Multipurpose, Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund and Cleanup Grant Program. The grant is provided specifically to assess, carry up cleanup activities and provide subgrants to clean up sites owned by the grant recipient.
Many brownfield sites are abandoned and underused because of contamination concerns, according to the EPA’s website.
Benefits listed on the EPA’s website to cleaning up brownfield sites include “increasing local tax bases, facilitating job growth, utilizing existing infrastructure, takes development pressures off of the undeveloped, open land, and both improves and protects the environment.”
Organizations with brownfield site issues had to apply for the grant. Applicants received varying sums, ranging from $472,000 to $2 million.
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