The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is awarding $400,000 in supplemental funding to the city of Allentown for cleanup at the Allentown Metal Works Site on South 10th Street.
The Allentown Revolving Loan Fund grant is one of 31 supplemental brownfields grants totaling $13.2 million that EPA announced Wednesday for brownfields projects that are already receiving revolving loan funds and have a successful cleanup project underway.
“These funds will help the Allentown community continue its successful brownfields cleanup work and redevelopment of the Allentown Metal Works site,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. “EPA's Brownfields Program empowers communities like Allentown and other stakeholders to work together to prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse brownfields.”
As a previous recipient of brownfields revolving loan funds, Allentown has already overseen the removal of drums, transformers and contaminated soil from the 17-acre site. The supplemental funding will help increase the scope of the work to also include the abatement of lead-based paint, asbestos and other wastes.
Mayor Ed Pawlowski says the grant will help continue the cleanup process. “The grant allows the cleanup project of this key site to move into Phase 2. When completed the site will be ready for redevelopment. It has the potential to generate up to 400 family sustaining jobs.”
The city is working with AEDC, ACIDA and the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) on the project because of their commitment to brownfield development. The supplemental funding and cost share amounts of $480,000 will allow for the completion of Phase 2 remediation of the site. The EPA’s $400,000 award will fund a significant portion of the Phase II remediation, with matching funds from AEDC and city personnel match to complete the project. AEDC will be contributing cash of $55,380 into the project.
“AEDC is honored to continue its efforts in partnership with the city and EPA to move this critical property one step closer in its ultimate return to productive use,” said Executive Director Scott Unger.
EPA’s Revolving Loan Fund provides a level of funding for cleanups that may not be available through traditional financing options or through other brownfields grants, serving as the gap financing needed to jump-start the redevelopment process. The supplemental funds help keep the cleanup momentum going so that more cleanups can be completed.