Montgomery County RDA Awarded $500,000 in Supplemental Brownfields Grant Funding

Montgomery County RDA Awarded $500,000 in Supplemental Brownfields Grant Funding

Joe Kraycik

Senior Consulting Geoscientist

jkraycik@envstd.com

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On June 19, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) announced the award of $500,000 in supplemental funding to the Redevelopment Authority of the County of Montgomery (MCRDA) to assist with the cleanup of contaminated brownfields properties. Specifically, the award will augment an existing revolving loan fund (RLF) grant that MCRDA received in 2013. The original grant of $800,000 was also bolstered with supplemental funding of $450,000 in 2016. RLF grants allow the grantee to capitalize a fund that provides low-interest loans and sub-grants to eligible parties to carry out cleanup activities at brownfields sites. These funds are provided to communities that have shown success in cleaning up and redeveloping brownfields sites. In total, $15.7 million in supplemental funding was provided by US EPA to 33 existing RLF grantees this year.

Jeanne Sorg, Mayor of the Borough of Ambler, addresses attendees at the June 19, 2018 supplemental grant announcement. Ms. Sorg is joined from left to right by John Nugent, MCRDA; John Zaharchuk, Summit Realty Advisors and Cosmo Servidio, US EPA. The future site of the Crossings at Ambler Station apartment complex is visible in the background.

The announcement ceremony took place at the Ambler Boiler House property, a former industrial site that was remediated using a prior US EPA RLF grant. Today, the Ambler Boiler House office building is now a class A, multi-tenant workplace where approximately 325 people are employed. The ceremony was attended by representatives of the US EPA, MCRDA, local and county officials, Summit Realty Advisors, and neighborhood residents.

“The Redevelopment Authority and Montgomery County are appreciative of the financial and technical support provided by EPA in helping us return numerous brownfields sites to productive use,” said John Nugent, Executive Director of MCRDA. “Our collaborative work with EPA can be seen in projects where remediation has resulted in significant job creation, assisted with economic viability and supported the development of affordable housing.”

Since 1999, US EPA has provided Montgomery County with nearly $4 million in brownfields funding to assess, cleanup and facilitate redevelopment of brownfields sites. Recently, MCRDA RLF funding was used to remediate asbestos-impacted soil at the Ambler Boiler House office complex to create additional parking space that was necessary to accommodate the growing workforce. In addition, soil remediation was conducted on an adjacent property prior to the start of construction on The Crossings at Ambler Station apartment complex. Past brownfields grant funds have been used for sites in Pottstown, Norristown, Upper Dublin and Abington Townships.

“This funding will provide Montgomery County with resources to continue its cleanup work on contaminated properties throughout the county,” said US EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio. “Returning these lands to beneficial reuse is the goal, and this grant will help the county reach that milestone at additional locations.”

The Ambler Boiler House which was remediated and redeveloped by Summit Realty Advisors using MCRDA/US EPA Brownfields RLF grant funds. Photo credit: Summit Realty Advisors

John Zaharchuk, president of Summit Realty Advisors – the developer of both the Ambler Boiler House office building and The Crossings at Ambler Station, hosted the ceremony. Mr. Zaharchuk provided the audience with history regarding the properties that once served as part of the Keasbey and Mattison Company facilities, which, for a time, operated the world’s largest asbestos manufacturing operation. Asbestos-containing products were produced at the Ambler sites from roughly 1895 through the early 1970s. Today, thanks in part to the US EPA RLF grant funds, the Ambler Crossings site is now environmentally safe for the first time in over 100 years.   

Environmental Standards, Inc. congratulates MCRDA on its recent supplemental RLF award and looks forward to continuing this long and successful relationship with MCRDA. Environmental Standards has served as MCRDA’s environmental consultant since 2012 and was recently contracted to continue in this role through a competitive bidding and selection process. We routinely provide the following services to MCRDA: grant implementation and management, site inventorying, progress and financial reporting, environmental site assessments, cleanup planning, community outreach, remedial oversight and grant application preparation. 

If you are interested in learning more about our brownfields-related services, please contact Joe Kraycik or Gerry Kirkpatrick at (610) 935-5577.

Photo credit: Summit Realty Advisors