The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was in Bethlehem today to present a check for $650,000 to help clean up several contaminated properties in Northampton County.
Shawn M. Garvin, regional EPA administrator, was at the SteelStacks ArtsQuest Center to make the presentation.
Officials in the county have not yet identified what properties the funds will be used for, but SteelStacks was cited as an example of the kind of brownfields project such funding has helped in the past.
ArtsQuest is located on former Bethlehem Steel property, and much cleanup work needed to be done before the property could be rebuilt as an arts and entertainment center.
Jeff Parks, president of ArtsQuest said he is glad to see federal funding coming in for further brownfields cleanup in Northampton County, noting that too many American cities are in trouble because they don't have the funding available to rehabilitate properties so that new, modern businesses and jobs can be brought in.
“This is about attracting and retaining a workforce for the 21st century,” said Parks. When the clean up projects are identified, officials said they will be chosen based on their likelihood to create jobs and promote economic development.