In a recent announcement made by the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC), the PIDC is providing a new resource in partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency: the environmental remediation fund.

The environmental remediation fund will be used to address significant, contaminated sites that have underperformed in improving their conditions. The fund essentially provides low-interest loans to property owners towards the remediation of sites that have been contaminated by petroleum. For projects that involve a number of different contaminants, the loan is subject to the clean up of the petroleum portion of the project only.

The hope for this remediation program is to give property owners access to resources for environmental clean up, recycling contaminated sites into places for new, high-quality development and use. The funds cannot be used for the payment of penalties/fines, Phase I or Phase II reports, or the construction or demolition of things not integral to cleaning up a site.

Before an eligible borrower can apply, the site needs to be under the complete management and control of the applicant. There must also be documentation of the environmental conditions of the site, plus a remedial action plan (an approved plan is preferred). In addition, borrowers must demonstrate tax compliance and be free of judicial or administrative orders at the time an application is submitted. Applications will be reviewed by PIDC staff, with priority for the Lower Schuylkill region of Philadelphia.

This new remediation fund is just one of many ways he EPA has taken steps towards environmental clean up. This new project supplements the EPA’s superfund program, which seeks to identify and clean up contaminated areas with the involvement of community leaders and members. It also holds companies and responsible parties accountable for contaminated areas, which can be harmful to surrounding community’s health in addition to degrading and harming the environment.

For others who want to become more involved with superfund sites and cleanup, as well as other community-based eco-projects, check out Creeklife and its local resources.

Posted by Mark Contorno

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