And, what's happened to the site once occupied by the Bethlehem Steel Plant nestled in the Lehigh Valley of Northampton County, Pennsylvania? Abandoned in 1995 when the plant ceased operations, this restored property will soon house the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Industrial History, as well as a shopping and entertainment center covering 160 acres on the banks of the Lehigh River. An important site in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania is going from brownfields to economic growth and prosperity.

Have you been to Somerville, Massachusetts lately? A 1,500-square-foot building once occupied by a series of mattress manufacturers, but left abandoned and unused since 1995, is being renovated and restored. Thanks to help from EPA, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and state and local organizations in Massachusetts, including the Massachusetts Visiting Nurses Association, the building will soon open as a 100-unit, assisted-living facility and neighborhood health center for the citizens of Somerville. And, it will bring at least 45 new permanent jobs along with it.

Humble Beginnings

Many clean-ups start with a single, individual initiative. "Someone at a town planning meeting just stood up and said, 'Let's get rid of that ash dump,'" recalls Thomas Galligani, Director of Economic Development of Lowell, Massachusetts. And, with that single statement, the process of dismantling Lowell's unsightly, dangerous field of industrial ash began. Today, a 6,000-seat ballpark stands where the ash dump once lay. "The ballpark is drawing suburbanites back to Lowell," says Galligani. "It is a real image-booster." It's also providing tax revenues to this textile town that is struggling to revitalize.





Hartford, Connecticut resident, Kelvin LoveJoy, was concerned about the safety of neighborhood children. So, in 1995, he complained to local authorities about his "neighbor:" a 1.7-acre illegal dump that was littered with debris from construction and paint jobs, household garbage, and decayed buildings. Soon after, various organizations, including the EPA, a nearby soup kitchen, and a local middle school, began purging the dump of junk and lead-contaminated soil. Today, the renovated site is being readied to open as a community garden featuring a nature observatory for the middle school -- a one-of-a-kind resource for this low-income community.

Who Pays the Bills?

Who pays to clean up abandoned industrial sites? Often, state and local governments and Federal programs, such as the EPA's Brownfields Redevelopment Initiative, pay the bills. Sadly, private investors are often scared away from industrial clean-ups by the high costs and potential for generating pollution-related liability problems. Still, hearty investors do occasionally rush in where others fear to tread.

Take Texas businessman, Ed Ostrovitz. He cleared storage tanks from an abandoned 26-acre lot in a low-income area of West Dallas. With EPA's guidance, he spent $1 million on the project to create a site for his expanding wood-recycling plant. Ostrovitz could have built the plant - - with its nearly 100 new jobs - - in the suburbs. But, he believed that would have cost him and his community too dearly.

An Extra Bonus: Job Training and Individual Development Opportunities

Perhaps the best outcome of EPA's Brownfields Redevelopment Initiative is the simultaneous creation of opportunities for "individual redevelopment," too.

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