PA Governor Rendell Working to Revitalize Former Industrial, Mining Sites

BAT Designation Hastens Cleanup, Makes Way for Thousands of Jobs in

Lackawanna, Montgomery, Washington Counties



11 Jan, 2006, 00:00 ET from Pennsylvania Office of the Governor

    HARRISBURG, Pa., Jan. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania Governor Edward G.
 Rendell today announced old industrial sites and strip mines in three counties
 will be turned into new business locations with the potential to employ
 thousands of Pennsylvanians.
     The projects in Lackawanna, Montgomery and Washington counties have been
 designated to receive assistance under Governor Rendell's innovative
 Brownfield Action Team (BAT) program, which provides technical support to
 streamline the permitting process at targeted sites to bring key community
 revitalization efforts to reality sooner.
     "Revitalizing these sites will help us attract new jobs and investments
 that will keep our communities thriving," Governor Rendell said. "Working with
 our Brownfield Action Team streamlines the environmental permitting process so
 that redevelopment deals take less time to complete. This gives investors the
 incentive they need to clean up contaminated sites and proves that
 environmental protection can be a driver for economic growth in Pennsylvania."
     Environmental Protection Secretary Kathleen A. McGinty said the BAT
 designations will help transform idle properties into new economic
 opportunities in Ambler Borough, Montgomery County; Hanover Township,
 Washington County; and Taylor Borough, Lackawanna County.
     "Time is money," McGinty said. "By cutting delays while still ensuring the
 highest environmental standards, we can help our cities, towns and boroughs
 move more quickly to rebuild in a manner that improves both the economic and
 environmental health of our commonwealth."
     The Ambler project calls for a three-story office building as well as a
 condominium complex comprising six five-story buildings clustered around an
 open village in the heart of the Montgomery County borough. The project will
 reuse the former Keasbey & Mattison property, a former Superfund site, which
 housed manufacturing operations dating to the 1880s.
     Developers plan to keep the exterior of the former boiler house as a
 visually stunning anchor for the project. The building's interior will be
 rehabilitated to hold office space. The 316-unit condominium complex, The
 Crossings at Ambler, will be built on an adjoining site.
     Another attractive feature of the proposal is that homes and offices will
 be located within walking distance of a regional rail line, encouraging the
 use of mass transit for people who will work in the planned office buildings
 as well as those who make the 35-minute train ride to Philadelphia.
     Summit Realty Advisors LLC and Westrum Development Co. are jointly
 planning the project, which is consistent with both Ambler Borough and
 Montgomery County land-use plans. The developers also have applied for nearly
 $10 million in funding through the state's Business in Our Sites Program.
     "For decades, the K&M site was a symbol of Ambler's industrial heritage,
 but since has become a symbol of Pennsylvania's struggles with abandoned
 industrial sites," McGinty said. "Governor Rendell is working to return this
 parcel to the centerpiece of a rejuvenated downtown Ambler."
     Starpointe Business Park in Hanover Township, Washington County, is a
 planned multioccupant light-industrial business park now under construction on
 a 148-acre site in this rural southwestern Pennsylvania community. The BAT
 designation will help to expand this business park on to an adjacent 1,000-
 acre former strip mine.
     Starpointe has received nearly $11 million in public and private
 investments. Four-lane highways will connect the park with Greater Pittsburgh
 International Airport; downtown Pittsburgh; Weirton, W.Va.; and Stubenville,
 Ohio. The first phase of Starpointe, which is slated to open by late 2006,
 will hold between 8,000 and 10,000 jobs in assembling, manufacturing,
 management and other positions.
     In Lackawanna County, Taylor Colliery is a 150-acre site in downtown
 Taylor Borough that had been used both for industrial and mining activities.
 The borough plans to purchase the parcel, which is located next to the 390-
 acre Stauffer Industrial Park. Redevelopment plans include a village center
 with commercial and service amenities for a new housing community. The housing
 component will range from 278 to 486 units and include single-family homes,
 townhouses and condominiums. Commercial development will range from 187,000 to
 626,000 square feet. The plan also calls for 48 acres of open space and
 greenways.
     The plan is expected to bring at least 250 new jobs to the borough. At the
 same time, the project will improve access to and transportation through the
 adjacent industrial park, and help address current stormwater management
 deficiencies, further improving water quality in the area.
     "This plan fits with Governor Rendell's goal of providing innovative ways
 for land-locked municipalities with no room for new development to increase
 the number of jobs available to their residents and increase their tax base to
 provide vital public services, such as police and fire protection and road
 maintenance," McGinty said. "All of these projects are examples where the
 administration's enhanced management approach is speeding up the return of
 unused sites to productive use."
     Governor Rendell has worked aggressively to provide new incentives and
 financing and put enhanced management approaches in place that hasten
 brownfield redevelopment. McGinty highlighted the administration's significant
 track record of making environmental protection work for businesses and
 employees during testimony before a U.S. House of Representatives panel in
 September.
     The Governor's Business in Our Sites Fund provides $300 million to help
 local redevelopment authorities and economic development corporations acquire,
 remediate and prepare shovel-ready sites for businesses that are seeking to
 build or expand immediately. PennWorks, a $250 million voter-approved bond
 initiative, finances improvements to aging water and wastewater systems that
 can serve as a disincentive to development.
     The BAT program, launched in 2004, creates a single-point-of-contact to
 streamline permitting processes for those sites that local officials target
 for redevelopment. BAT relies on communities to tell DEP which brownfield
 projects are priorities for revitalizing an area and requires communities to
 show cleanup and financing plans as well as the proposed use of the site and
 its benefits to the area.
     The Rendell administration added another enhancement through a historic
 memorandum of agreement between DEP and the U.S. Environmental Protection
 Agency to make Pennsylvania's Land Recycling Program the first and only in the
 nation to serve as a "one-stop shop" for state and federal standards guiding
 the cleanup of brownfield sites.
     The memorandum clarifies that sites remediated under the state's
 brownfields program also satisfy requirements for three key federal laws: the
 Resource Conservation and Recovery Act; the Comprehensive Environmental
 Response Compensation Liability Act, commonly referred to as Superfund; and
 the Toxic Substances Control Act.
     Brownfields are abandoned, idled or underused industrial and commercial
 facilities where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by environmental
 issues. For more information, visit DEP's Web site at
 http://www.dep.state.pa.us, Keyword: "Land Recycling."
 
     The Rendell Administration is committed to creating a first-rate public
 education system, protecting our most vulnerable citizens and continuing
 economic investment to support our communities and businesses. To find out
 more about Governor Rendell's initiatives and to sign up for his weekly
 newsletter, visit his Web site at: http://www.governor.state.pa.us.
 
     CONTACT:  Kate Philips, Pennsylvania Office of the Governor,
 +1-717-783-1116; or Ron Ruman, DEP, +1-717-787-1323.
 
 

SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor
    HARRISBURG, Pa., Jan. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania Governor Edward G.
 Rendell today announced old industrial sites and strip mines in three counties
 will be turned into new business locations with the potential to employ
 thousands of Pennsylvanians.
     The projects in Lackawanna, Montgomery and Washington counties have been
 designated to receive assistance under Governor Rendell's innovative
 Brownfield Action Team (BAT) program, which provides technical support to
 streamline the permitting process at targeted sites to bring key community
 revitalization efforts to reality sooner.
     "Revitalizing these sites will help us attract new jobs and investments
 that will keep our communities thriving," Governor Rendell said. "Working with
 our Brownfield Action Team streamlines the environmental permitting process so
 that redevelopment deals take less time to complete. This gives investors the
 incentive they need to clean up contaminated sites and proves that
 environmental protection can be a driver for economic growth in Pennsylvania."
     Environmental Protection Secretary Kathleen A. McGinty said the BAT
 designations will help transform idle properties into new economic
 opportunities in Ambler Borough, Montgomery County; Hanover Township,
 Washington County; and Taylor Borough, Lackawanna County.
     "Time is money," McGinty said. "By cutting delays while still ensuring the
 highest environmental standards, we can help our cities, towns and boroughs
 move more quickly to rebuild in a manner that improves both the economic and
 environmental health of our commonwealth."
     The Ambler project calls for a three-story office building as well as a
 condominium complex comprising six five-story buildings clustered around an
 open village in the heart of the Montgomery County borough. The project will
 reuse the former Keasbey & Mattison property, a former Superfund site, which
 housed manufacturing operations dating to the 1880s.
     Developers plan to keep the exterior of the former boiler house as a
 visually stunning anchor for the project. The building's interior will be
 rehabilitated to hold office space. The 316-unit condominium complex, The
 Crossings at Ambler, will be built on an adjoining site.
     Another attractive feature of the proposal is that homes and offices will
 be located within walking distance of a regional rail line, encouraging the
 use of mass transit for people who will work in the planned office buildings
 as well as those who make the 35-minute train ride to Philadelphia.
     Summit Realty Advisors LLC and Westrum Development Co. are jointly
 planning the project, which is consistent with both Ambler Borough and
 Montgomery County land-use plans. The developers also have applied for nearly
 $10 million in funding through the state's Business in Our Sites Program.
     "For decades, the K&M site was a symbol of Ambler's industrial heritage,
 but since has become a symbol of Pennsylvania's struggles with abandoned
 industrial sites," McGinty said. "Governor Rendell is working to return this
 parcel to the centerpiece of a rejuvenated downtown Ambler."
     Starpointe Business Park in Hanover Township, Washington County, is a
 planned multioccupant light-industrial business park now under construction on
 a 148-acre site in this rural southwestern Pennsylvania community. The BAT
 designation will help to expand this business park on to an adjacent 1,000-
 acre former strip mine.
     Starpointe has received nearly $11 million in public and private
 investments. Four-lane highways will connect the park with Greater Pittsburgh
 International Airport; downtown Pittsburgh; Weirton, W.Va.; and Stubenville,
 Ohio. The first phase of Starpointe, which is slated to open by late 2006,
 will hold between 8,000 and 10,000 jobs in assembling, manufacturing,
 management and other positions.
     In Lackawanna County, Taylor Colliery is a 150-acre site in downtown
 Taylor Borough that had been used both for industrial and mining activities.
 The borough plans to purchase the parcel, which is located next to the 390-
 acre Stauffer Industrial Park. Redevelopment plans include a village center
 with commercial and service amenities for a new housing community. The housing
 component will range from 278 to 486 units and include single-family homes,
 townhouses and condominiums. Commercial development will range from 187,000 to
 626,000 square feet. The plan also calls for 48 acres of open space and
 greenways.
     The plan is expected to bring at least 250 new jobs to the borough. At the
 same time, the project will improve access to and transportation through the
 adjacent industrial park, and help address current stormwater management
 deficiencies, further improving water quality in the area.
     "This plan fits with Governor Rendell's goal of providing innovative ways
 for land-locked municipalities with no room for new development to increase
 the number of jobs available to their residents and increase their tax base to
 provide vital public services, such as police and fire protection and road
 maintenance," McGinty said. "All of these projects are examples where the
 administration's enhanced management approach is speeding up the return of
 unused sites to productive use."
     Governor Rendell has worked aggressively to provide new incentives and
 financing and put enhanced management approaches in place that hasten
 brownfield redevelopment. McGinty highlighted the administration's significant
 track record of making environmental protection work for businesses and
 employees during testimony before a U.S. House of Representatives panel in
 September.
     The Governor's Business in Our Sites Fund provides $300 million to help
 local redevelopment authorities and economic development corporations acquire,
 remediate and prepare shovel-ready sites for businesses that are seeking to
 build or expand immediately. PennWorks, a $250 million voter-approved bond
 initiative, finances improvements to aging water and wastewater systems that
 can serve as a disincentive to development.
     The BAT program, launched in 2004, creates a single-point-of-contact to
 streamline permitting processes for those sites that local officials target
 for redevelopment. BAT relies on communities to tell DEP which brownfield
 projects are priorities for revitalizing an area and requires communities to
 show cleanup and financing plans as well as the proposed use of the site and
 its benefits to the area.
     The Rendell administration added another enhancement through a historic
 memorandum of agreement between DEP and the U.S. Environmental Protection
 Agency to make Pennsylvania's Land Recycling Program the first and only in the
 nation to serve as a "one-stop shop" for state and federal standards guiding
 the cleanup of brownfield sites.
     The memorandum clarifies that sites remediated under the state's
 brownfields program also satisfy requirements for three key federal laws: the
 Resource Conservation and Recovery Act; the Comprehensive Environmental
 Response Compensation Liability Act, commonly referred to as Superfund; and
 the Toxic Substances Control Act.
     Brownfields are abandoned, idled or underused industrial and commercial
 facilities where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by environmental
 issues. For more information, visit DEP's Web site at
 http://www.dep.state.pa.us, Keyword: "Land Recycling."
 
     The Rendell Administration is committed to creating a first-rate public
 education system, protecting our most vulnerable citizens and continuing
 economic investment to support our communities and businesses. To find out
 more about Governor Rendell's initiatives and to sign up for his weekly
 newsletter, visit his Web site at: http://www.governor.state.pa.us.
 
     CONTACT:  Kate Philips, Pennsylvania Office of the Governor,
 +1-717-783-1116; or Ron Ruman, DEP, +1-717-787-1323.
 
 SOURCE  Pennsylvania Office of the Governor