The Western Reserve Port Authority has been awarded a $600,000 Brownfield Assessment Grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The authority operates the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport.
Rose Ann DeLeon, port authority executive director, received notice of the award Wednesday, according to an authority press release.
The WRPA formed the Trumbull Brownfield Coalition, which includes the Trumbull County Planning Commission, the city of Warren, Howland Township, and the Mahoning River Corridor Initiative, in order to address the growing challenges of abandoned industrial sites in Trumbull County. The grant was one of only four awarded in Ohio by the EPA this year.
“There’s no doubt that the wealth of knowledge and expertise Rose Ann DeLeon and Sarah Lown brought to the project were key to the Coalition’s success,” said Scott Lynn, board president.
DeLeon said the grant funds will be used to conduct a brownfield inventory of about 35 sites encompassing 200 acres, perform about 30 phase one and 20 phase two environmental site assessments, plan clean-up for about seven sites and organize community-engagement activities.
The sites involved include the former Delphi complex in north Warren, areas along the Mahoning River Corri- dor, and the Golden Triangle along Bronze, Dietz and Griswold streets in Warren. All have been severely impacted by plant closings.
“Once these abandoned sites are assessed and remediated, they become highly marketable locations for new investment because they feature freight rail access, proximity to major highways and other essential infrastructure and utilities,” DeLeon said.
U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Niles, D-13th, congratulated the port authority and the Trumbull Brownfield Coalition for obtaining the grant and said it shows how effective local entities can be when they join forces.
“Port authorities like the WRPA clearly have the ability to drive growth and are essential to the economic viability of a region,” Ryan said.