- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has given the Philadelphia Authority of Industrial Development (PAID) a $820,000 brownfields grant for cleaning up abandoned commercial and industrial properties.
- EPA has given $55.2 million in brownfields grants to 131 communities in the country this year.
- The announcement was made at the Pennovation Works site which benefited from $600,000 in previous brownfields funding. The site now hosts offices and labs in connection with the University of Pennsylvania.
The U.S. has hundreds of thousands of these sites that have become unusable due to contamination from a number of sources. As with sites in the EPA's Superfund program remediation efforts can often increase tax revenue and create jobs.
"Brownfields funding helps communities remove critical barriers to redevelopment and reuse," said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin in a press release. "This funding supports Philadelphia’s plans for improving the quality of life of residents by reclaiming areas for housing, commercial development and open space and at the same time protecting public health and the environment."
The EPA has been encouraging more sustainable practices in these cleanup efforts and also working to expand training opportunities. Earlier this year, the agency announced $3.5 million in grants to 18 projects as part of its ongoing Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training program for low-income residents in communities affected by environmental damage or other factors. Current grantees — including one in Philadelphia — provide training on a wide range of skills and offer the chance to earn numerous state and federal certifications.