New State Funding Helps Return Two Former Industrial Sites to Productive Use
January 31, 2020
Governor Tom Wolf announced the approval of new funding to clean up former industrial sites in Blair and Erie counties to prepare them for occupation by businesses and residential properties.
“The benefits are two-fold – not only will harmful chemicals be removed from these properties, but the elimination of blight will attract aspiring renters, homeowners, and business owners for many years to come,” said Gov. Wolf.
Funded through the commonwealth’s Industrial Sites Reuse Program (ISRP), the two approved projects are as follows:
Altoona-Blair County Development Corporation was approved for a $10,200 grant for an environmental assessment of the former Silk Mill Industrial Complex located in Blair County. In 2018, ISRP funds were used for environmental remediation costs. This funding will be used for an assessment to include soil borings, soil sampling, installation of monitoring wells, hazardous material survey, aquifer slug testing, sub-slab vapor sampling, indoor air and ambient air sampling and the development of a remediation plan. Once the site has been remediated, it will allow for development of approximately 100,000-170,000 square feet to support the construction of 42 residential apartments and 19,000 square feet of office/rental space. The project will also complement the redevelopment of the former Bon Secours Hospital Complex that is currently underway.
Albion Borough, Erie County was approved for a $63,810 grant for site characterization of an old gas station. ISRP funds will be used for a geophysical and professional survey, soil borings and monitoring wells, well development, groundwater and soil gas sampling, aquifer testing, fate and transport analysis, human health risk assessment, remedial investigation reports, and the development of a cleanup plan. The borough has a prospective buyer who plans to use the property for warehousing and minor parts assembly.
“This new funding will bring new opportunities to Blair and Erie counties and will ensure that these sites become safe and valuable properties that improve their communities and bring new appeal to formerly underutilized or unused areas,” said Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Davin.
ISRP provides loans and grants for environmental assessments and remediation. The program is designed to foster the cleanup of environmental contamination at industrial sites, thereby bringing blighted land into productive reuse.
“Revitalizing former industrial sites provides tremendous benefits for communities, but important testing and remediation must take place to ensure that the sites are environmentally safe,” said Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “These funds will allow for this important work to take place so that the sites are ready for redevelopment.”