ORA receives $500,000 grant

From staff reports

The state Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday that the Oil Region Alliance of Business, Industry & Tourism was selected as a 2022 Brownfields recipient for a $500,000 assessment grant.

In 2020, the ORA completed a community-wide assessment on several brownfield sites in the Allegheny-Clarion River Valley and a site in Oil City, thanks to a $300,000 EPA grant. This next phase will fill in the gap between these sites by focusing on the Sugarcreek basin of the Allegheny River.

“As a Rural Development Hub Organization this award will enable the Alliance to continue to develop, assess, and work to implement this extremely important program in the Oil Heritage Region,” said John R. Phillips II, ORA president and chief executive officer.

“These former industrial sites need to become once again an asset to the communities they are located in.”

According to the grant application prepared by ORA Redevelopment Manager Selina Pedi, the prosperity of this region once depended on the oil industry.

Today, true prosperity and long-term resilience for the Oil Region includes the balanced development and use of the Allegheny River, Pedi said. With the support of an EPA grant, the ORA can continue its mission to equitably and strategically nurture the resources and opportunities along the river for the benefit of all who call this area home.