Officials Say EPA Grant To Clear Industrial Sites Will Spur Development, Create Jobs And Housing

Aug 7, 2017

A $600,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency will be used to help clean up some of Pittsburgh’s forgotten former industrial sites.

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and Democratic Rep. Mike Doyle accepted the grant Friday the Foundry in Lawrenceville, a luxury apartment complex built on the site of a former brownfield site.

The money will help officials clean up the old sites, which can sometimes contain hazardous material and prevent future development. The Foundry’s site was cleaned up with the help of a previous EPA grant.

Doyle said this grant is ultimately an investment in Pittsburgh's economy.

"An old site that's paying no taxes and producing no economic vitality suddenly can become one that's paying taxes, creating jobs and then a business or something goes in there and contributes to the economic growth of the region," he said. 

Doyle said officials expect the grant to generate $40 million in private investment, as well as create 400 jobs and 100 new affordable housing units. The projections are based on housing that will be built on the redeveloped brownfield areas, with jobs created from businesses that would move in to the new sites. 

The EPA grant was awarded specifically to the North Side Industrial Development Company, which has received $5.6 million in EPA brownfield grants since 2015. The nonprofit works to promote the economic and community development of southwestern Pennsylvania.

In a press release, EPA officials said that property values around former brownfield sites soar after the area is renovated.