Grants will continue path to future

Cleanup efforts at three former local industrial sites are getting a boost thanks to a series of grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. We're glad to see this work continue, as it will help to bring these sites one step closer to eventually providing an opportunity for economic development and growth for our area. The EPA announced three grants, for a total of $600,000, would be awarded to the Business Development Corp. of the Northern Panhandle to address brownfield cleanup of the former Wheeling Corrugating plant in Beech Bottom, the former Brooke Glass factory in Wellsburg and the ongoing Chester Riverfront Revitalization project on the former site of the Taylor, Smith and Taylor pottery in Chester. These sites previously were home to businesses at the core of the Northern Panhandle's industrial past, representing local china, glass and steel manufacturing. They have sat unused for many years, though, and their past use also can be a deterrent to locating future businesses in our area. Brownfields often include some sort of environmental issues, which can take a great deal of time and money to clean up before any new business is willing to even look at it. The BDC has been working hard in recent years to obtain these sites and market them to companies around the world in the hope of drawing them to the Ohio Valley. It will still take some time, but we see great opportunities coming as a result of this work. We thank the BDC for their efforts, as well as the U.S. EPA, the Benedum Foundation and the Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center for their willingness to see the possibility of a bright future for the Northern Panhandle and lending their support. It will still take some time to see some of these results, but we are certainly heading down a better path now than we had been.

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