ORA Receives Grant for Brownfield Redevelopment

The Oil Region Alliance (ORA) received a $300,000 assessment grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for brownfield redevelopment in the AlleghenyClarion River (A-C) Valley Wednesday.

The EPA defines brownfield as properties whose expansion, redevelopment or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant.

Brownfield sites eligible to be assessed through this grant include the former Fuchs Lubricant facility and the former Quaker State Refinery in Emlenton and additional locations in Foxburg, Parker and Oil City.

The Allegheny-Clarion River Valley Region (ACRVR) Blueprint Community Initiative, housed within the ORA, will oversee six Phase I and three Phase II environmental site assessments and the development of cleanup and reuse plans in addition to community outreach activities.

“This is a game-changing opportunity for our entire region,” said Selina Pedi, ACRVR Blueprint Community Coordinator. “It opens the door to finally rehabilitate and redevelop these and other relics of our industrial past. We now have the chance to make them living, breathing parts of our present and future, and usher in a new wave of the resourcefulness, innovation, and entrepreneurship that have defined our communities since the beginning.”

Work can begin as early as Summer 2020 and must be finished by October 2023. Further phasing is dependent on the outcome of the initial assessment. The grant does not require the Alliance to match these funds, but the $300,000 can be used as match for additional grants.

The A-C Valley is one of 151 communities nationwide to receive an award from the $65.6 million in EPA Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup (ARC) Grant funds for 2020, and one of nine first-time recipients out of the 22 total in EPA Region 3, which includes Virginia, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania.

This article was published in the Venango Chamber’s June 2020 VenangoWorks! Newsletter

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