Thursday, October 16, 2008
The EPA has pledged $900-thousand to the Western Pennsylvania Brownfields Center at CMU to perfect a computer tool and launch community training in how to best reuse brownfields. The funds will be dolled out over 5 years. The tool looks at community needs, assets and opportunities and helps determine the best use for a given brownfield. The training will help officials in 150 communities in the Mid Atlantic region use that tool. The grant is one of 10 similar grants nationwide. EPA Mid Atlantic Region Director Don Walsh says upfront investment in brownfields is a good use of federal monies because they usually attract much more in private investment. Walsh says the EPA has invested 52 million in brownfield projects in the region and that has prompted private investments of 523 million dollars. He says Pittsburgh has long been a hot bed of brownfield redevelopment and has often served as a national model so it made sense for one of the grants to come to Southwestern PA.