Economic revitalization comes to brownfield site in a West Virginia town, in the form of electric pontoon boat manufacturing

On June 5, 2023, communities in Brooke and Hancock County, West Virginia celebrated a new round of economic revitalization, thanks to a $500,000 brownfields assessment grant to the Business Development Corporation of the Northern Panhandle (BDC).

The grant funds will be used to assess former industrial properties for redevelopment and revitalization projects.

EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Adam Ortiz joined a contingent of public and business officials for a ribbon-cutting at the new Pure Watercraft electric pontoon boat production facility at the Beech Bottom Industrial Park in Beech Bottom, West Virginia.

That site was previously revitalized when brownfields funding was used as a catalyst for leveraged redevelopment funding.

Working with the BDC, EPA Brownfields funding was essential in remediating the site into what is now the Beech Bottom Industrial Park.

The new facility will employ 100 workers which will contribute to the economic revitalization of the area.

I’ve been to West Virginia more than a dozen times in the past two years and have seen firsthand how Brownfields funding is cleaning the land, changing lives, and helping to jump-start local economies here,” said Ortiz.

West Virginia has contributed so much to the foundation of this country. This area deserves an economic resurgence, and projects like this can help build that momentum. With your great location on the Ohio River and easy access to larger metropolitan areas, I believe Brooke and Hancock County are creating the foundation for considerable opportunities ahead,” he explained.

The Biden Administration is making a huge investment in revitalizing communities like these in the northern panhandle. With the talent, commitment and personal pride of the people here on the ground, this partnership will continue to make communities cleaner, healthier, and stronger and more economically competitive, and more people are going to discover West Virginia is a great place to live. This is an exciting day,” Ortiz concluded.

Since 1997, EPA has awarded more than $48 million through 114 Brownfields grants in 43 West Virginia communities.

To date, this funding has leveraged an additional $1.7 billion in public and private investment, returning 1798 acres to readiness for reuse, and creating more than 5,400 new jobs.

Photo of electric pontoon boat courtesy of Pure Watercraft.

See EPA Brownfields website.

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