STOWE TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — The abandoned P&LE Railroad site up river from the McKees Rocks Bridge is another area brownfield that is about to get a new life.

“It’s very personal. I think that’s the only way you get these brownfield projects completed,” says Stow Township native Craig Rippole. “They’re very hard projects. You have to have a real passion for what you’re doing and it has to be close to your heart.”

Rippole and his company, Trinity Commercial Development, want to rehabilitate some old buildings and construct some new ones on the site, promoting economic growth in the abandoned location.

“It’s huge – 1,172 full-time permanent jobs,” he said.

Brownfields are old industrial sites where ground pollutants have to be removed before anyone can locate there. Federal and state environmental authorities have already stepped in to help.

“We’ve had a significant role,” says PA Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Michael Krancer. “A million dollar grant, a PennDOT grant, another research grant, really getting it rolling, but in partnership with the EPA and all the local entities involved.”

Krancer joined a crowd in McKees Rocks to welcome news of a big check from the EPA to help in the clean-up.

“The EPA is coming into town right now with a million dollar check, so this is money that will help to remediate brownfield contaminated sites all throughout Allegheny County,” says Allegheny County Economic Development Director Dennis Davin. “A big portion of that will go right here in McKees Rocks for the remediation of this site.”

Cleaning up the lead and arsenic from the old P&LE Railroad site is an absolute must for future development, and in this case, it’s going to breathe new life into the Sto-Rox community.

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