Rep. Summer Lee Helps Deliver $2 Million EPA Grant To Remediate Former Industrial Site with Park and Solar Field in Swisshelm

The $2 million grant will close the funding gap to begin remediating the Swisshelm Park Industrial Site

Pittsburgh, PA

For Immediate Release

Vaibhav Vijay, Vaibhav.Vijay@mail.house.gov, (771) 215-7243

Rep. Summer Lee Helps Deliver $2 Million EPA Grant To Remediate Former Industrial Site with Park and Solar Field in Swisshelm

The $2 million grant will close the funding gap to begin remediating the Swisshelm Park Industrial Site

(PITTSBURGH) – Today, Rep. Summer Lee announced a $2 million funding award for the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh to remediate and redevelop a former industrial dumping ground  in the Swisshelm and Squirrel Hill neighborhoods into a solar farm and extension of Frick Park. Provided through the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Brownfield Program, this funding will close the financial gap required for the $8.35 million remediation project. The cleanup site was part of a larger 238-acre long disposal site that was formerly used to dispose of slag wastes until 1972. By 1972, there were nearly 17 million cubic yards of slag piled as high as 120 feet with very steep banks. It is contaminated with heavy metals, volatile organic compounds, and semi-volatile organic compounds. Grant funds also will be used to conduct community engagement activities. Rep. Lee sent a letter to the EPA advocating for  funding for this project in December.

“Before I even came to Congress, I was fighting to make sure that the environmental harms caused by Pittsburgh’s industries wouldn’t continue harming our health. This critical $2 million grant will finally close the gap in the efforts to remediate former industrial sites by efforts to remediate a former industrial site by transforming 70-acres into a solar field and an extension to Frick Park–fulfilling our commitments towards environmental justice,” said Rep. Summer Lee (PA-12). “I am so proud that we are continuing the work across state, local, and federal levels to ensure we have affordable energy, clean air, clean water–and are creating jobs in the process.”

“Our team is beyond proud to accept this Brownfields Cleanup grant award,” said URA Executive Director Susheela Nemani-Stanger. “The remediation of the site in Swisshelm Park is a meaningful step toward a future redevelopment that will provide clean energy, create a healthier community, and increase access to and maximize all that Frick Park has to offer. The URA is thankful to Congresswoman Lee and the numerous stakeholders that have provided support and input to make this project a reality.”

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Background: 

  • Last year, the Urban Redevelopment Authority requested $2 million for the “Swisshelm Park Solar Remediation Project” to clean up 22-acres on a property in the Swisshelm Park neighborhood of the City of Pittsburgh.
  • The property once belonged to Duquesne Slag, and was a dumping ground for steel slag, and has been an unusable space for the City of Pittsburgh for over 20 years.
  • The Urban Redevelopment Authority has used Environmental Protection Agency funding quite effectively to sustain and remediate parks in Pittsburgh before, including on projects like the Nine Mile Run–which will run adjacent to this site.

Since taking office in January, Lee, who serves on the House Oversight Committee and Space, Science and Technology Committee, has delivered historic levels of federal investment totaling over $1 Billion brought back to Western PA, including over $200 million for infrastructure, over $50 million for affordable transit, and over $500 million to keep clean energy manufacturing at home in Pennsylvania. These investments will help improve Western Pennsylvania’s infrastructure and transit, ensure cleaner air and drinking water, lower housing costs, fund research institutions, fuel clean manufacturing, fund STEM innovation and entrepreneurship, boost workforce development, and create thousands of good paying union jobs.  Lee and her team have also delivered casework and constituent services to over 1,950 constituents with issues ranging from helping our seniors and disabled community access Medicare and social security to helping folks secure housing and helping families with immigration support and passports.

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