PHILADELPHIA — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded three Brownfields grants to the Philadelphia Authority for Industrial Development (PAID) and the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority (PRA), according to a press release.

PAID received grants totaling $600,000-$400,000, and PRA received $200,000, noted the release. The grants will assist in the cleanup efforts of sites potentially contaminated with petroleum and other hazardous substances.

“I want to congratulate Philadelphia Authority for Industrial Development and the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority on their success in redeveloping brownfields sites,” said EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin in the release. “These funds will not only be used to assess contamination, but will also facilitate the sites being returned to a more productive use that will have lasting benefits to the surrounding communities.”

The funds will help asses properties frequently located in underserved neighborhoods, reported the release. Neighborhood urban gardens and agriculture will be developed.

“As the factories of Philadelphia came and went, vacant land and contaminated soil was often left behind.  As Philadelphia looks to the future, green space, urban agriculture and storm water infrastructure will be key to community revitalization,” shared Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority Director Brian Abernathy in the release. “We appreciate the EPA’s help and support as we work to identify, assess and redevelop some of our vacant parcels into community assets.”

With the new funds, the EPA has provided 17 grants totaling $5.6 million to the Philadelphia area, stated the release.