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ONLY ON 9: USEPA Awards $70,000 to BDC

Updated: Thursday, August 14 2014, 06:08 PM EDT

WTOV9.com
WEIRTON, W.Va. -- A $70,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) will fund the site assessment, site characterization, and remedial planning work for Chester’s riverfront at the former Taylor, Smith & Taylor Pottery site.
The local development corporation, the Business Development Corporation of the Northern Panhandle (BDC), told USEPA officials that the site’s development could yield tangible results of more than $2 million in site reinvestment and more than 100 permanent jobs while eliminating a quantified community health threat which has existed since 1989. The grant was awarded through a nationally competitive special project funding opportunity from the USEPA.
The Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center (NWVBAC) was notified by the USEPA of this award this week. The BDC’s preparedness and progress in assessing and remediating the site, allowed for a special supplemental funding opportunity from the USEPA that was made available for special projects that were able to demonstrate tangible results on shovel ready brownfield sites.
Patrick Kirby, Executive Director of the NWBAC, said “the BDC was able to immediately illustrate the tangible economic and community impacts of the redevelopment of the TS&T site.”
A brownfield is an abandoned or underutilized property that has not been redeveloped due to real or perceived environmental barrier.
"This EPA grant is great news for Chester and Hancock County, and is the first key step to the redevelopment of the riverbank of the former TS&T site, which would provide a huge opportunity to development one of the most scenic riverbanks in the Ohio River Valley. The benefits of this EPA grant are twofold: it will make the TS&T site and the TS&T riverfront a cleaner, safer area, and it will prime the site for redevelopment," said Patrick Ford, Executive Director of the Business Development Corporation. "This brownfield site, adjacent to downtown Chester, is an excellent location for investment and job creation, and this EPA grant keeps the wheels moving firmly in the direction of redevelopment."
“WVDEP looks forward to working with the Business Development Corporation on the redevelopment project at the former TS&T Pottery site,” said Patricia A. Hickman, Interim Director, Division of Land Restoration for the W.Va. Department of Environmental Protection. “We hope that together we can create a positive impact within the community of Chester by remediating this site and returning it to productive use.”
"Once again we are thankful for Patricia Hickman of the WVDEP, Patrick Kirby of the NWBAC, and the Hancock County Commission for their personal advocacy on behalf of BDC, Chester, and Hancock County in conjunction with the grant process. Hancock County has a rich industrial heritage, especially with former industrial sites located along the Ohio River that winds its way through the northern panhandle. We are grateful for the special funding award by the United States Environmental Protection Agency that continues to fuel the process of returning our brownfield sites to productive use once again," said Bill D’Alesio, Chairman of the BDC.
"Uncertainty is the biggest barrier to the development of brownfield sites, and that's where EPA brownfield grants make all the difference," said Chester Mayor Larry Forsythe. “Without the brownfields program, land polluted is bypassed for redevelopment and in some cases taken out of development inventor.”
"This is just one more phase in the site preparation of the former TS&T site. The ability to clean up brownfield sites is very important because it really helps get rid of the blight and helps fantastic things to come along," said the Hancock County Commission. "We are very supportive of this outstanding program that really helps make our communities stronger, better and more attractive for development. We appreciate the chance to apply for this funding, and we look forward to the tremendous opportunity to effectively use these assessment dollars to produce tangible economic and environmental results.”


ONLY ON 9: USEPA Awards $70,000 to BDC


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