Governor Tom Wolf has approved new funding through the Industrial Sites Reuse Program to the Berks County Industrial Development Authority for environmental remediation to revitalize the site of a former Berks County pistol range in Bern Township.
“Since taking office, my administration has been committed to investing in projects that enhance the quality of life for residents in all of Pennsylvania’s communities, and this project will create new opportunities for the Berks County area,” said Gov. Wolf.
“Rehabilitating abandoned properties like the local pistol range create spaces for businesses to grow and expand and places for visitors and residents to gather and enjoy.”
The ISRP grant will provide $262,500 to the industrial development authority to address soil contamination. The authority plans to build another area for seven new buildings ranging from 30,000 square feet to 220,200 square feet of flex space for manufacturing, assemblage, warehousing, office, and research development.
“This funding will support the environmental cleanup that’s needed for new economic development in the area, bringing in new tax revenues and a new life to an unused space,” said Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Davin.
“This program is an important example of Government That Works, as we collaborate to invest in, repair, and improve properties across the commonwealth.”
ISRP funds will be used to place a protective cap directly above the current location of the impacted material with 24 inches of clean, graded soil above the delineated areas of impact, with an overlying six-inch thick layer of seeded topsoil.
Certain areas will require additional clean fill ranging from five to seven feet to maintain an adequate grade of the cap surface. Costs also include moving the full volume of soils to the staging area, purchase and placement of a layer of high-visibility, pervious textile across the top of the current surface grade, manual clearing of 10,000 square feet of vegetation along two edges of the area, and the purchase and installation of an 8-foot tall fence with one gate. The total project cost is $350,000.
“Restoring blighted properties and bring them back into productive use helps both the environment and the economy,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “This project will keep harmful pollutants out of the environment and allow for new economic development.”
The ISRP provides loans and grants for environmental assessments and remediation carried out by eligible applicants who did not cause or contribute to the contamination. The program is designed to foster the cleanup of environmental contamination at industrial sites, thereby bringing blighted land into productive reuse.