The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the City of Philadelphia as one of 20 communities to receive a grant to conduct a planning study to guide the cleanup and reactivation of brownfield land.
A $200,000 grant to Philadelphia will fund a study for a four-square-mile area of Frankford Creek, including sections of the Bridesburg, Frankford, Port Richmond and Juniata Park neighborhoods.
The Philadelphia City Planning Commission applied for the grant and will manage the planning process. The Department of Parks and Recreation and the Mayor’s Office of Grants assisted with the application process.
“Through the collaboration of the Planning Commission, Parks and Recreation and the Grants Office, we received this EPA grant, which will be a critical part of the ongoing revitalization around the Frankford Creek,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “I look forward to seeing the final plan and eventual revitalization of these brownfields sites.”
Gary Jastrzab, Executive Director of the City Planning Commission said, “The revitalization of this area was the focus of the recently adopted Philadelphia2035: Lower Northeast District Plan. This grant is the first step toward reusing formerly industrial properties along Frankford Creek in new and exciting ways.”
The former Philadelphia Coke and Rohm and Haas site, totaling 126 riverfront acres in the Bridesburg neighborhood, present economic development opportunities for waterfront redevelopment and community revitalization. “By comprehensively planning in partnership with the EPA, Bridesburg’s vacant brownfields can successfully be remediated and redeveloped with a dynamic mix of uses that will contribute to the city’s and region’s economic vitality” said City Councilman Bobby Henon.
Similarly, the former site of Edgewater Dyeing and Finishing presents a unique opportunity for creekside redevelopment in Frankford. “EPA’s investment in the Frankford Creek area is crucial for us to unlock the transformative potential of these brownfields sites,” said City Councilwoman María Quiñones Sánchez, whose district includes the Frankford Creek watershed. “We now have the opportunity to replace environmental contamination and vacancy with new life and economic vitality, as we have done with nearby success stories like the Globe Dye Works and Amuneal Manufacturing.”
The rehabilitation of brownfield sites will also enable the development of the Frankford Creek Greenway, a greenway that would connect Tacony Creek Park to the North Delaware Riverfront.
“This planning grant provides us with an exciting opportunity to advance our trails, watershed protection, and open space objectives while connecting and engaging with communities on these vital assets,” said Michael DiBerardinis Deputy Mayor Environmental and Community Resources and Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Commissioner. “We look forward to continuing to work with PCPC and other partners on this important collaborative effort.”
The EPA will award a total of $4 million to 20 communities as part of the Brownfields Area-Wide (BF AWP) Planning program, which aims to promote community revitalization by using cleanups to stimulate local economies and protect people’s health and the environment. Since the program’s inception, all EPA’s Brownfields investments have leveraged more than $19 billion in cleanup and redevelopment.
More information on the grant recipients: http://epa.gov/brownfields/areawide_grants.htm