$4M redevelopment as water treatment plant and factory for old steel mill site

Donora, Pennsylvania has finally found buyers for a polluted, long-abandoned steel mill site. Granted, it’s not the most glamorous reuse project in the world–a sewage pumping plant and an industrial gas factory–but the related jobs and economic activity are exciting for local residents.

Washington County Redevelopment Authority found buyers for two tracts of land in the 11-acre Donora Industrial Park, site of a former U.S. Steel plant, and officials announced Wednesday they expect to close in June.

Pitt Building LP of Pittsburgh intends to purchase six acres for $250,000 and construct 12,500 square feet of warehouse for a distribution center and 3,500 square feet of office space for Airgas Inc., which expects to employ 26 people.

Pitt Building’s investment in the property will be about $3 million, said William McGowen, executive director of the redevelopment authority.

The second new tenant in Donora Industrial Park will be the Mon Valley Sewage Authority, which intends to purchase two acres for $100,000 to build a pump station for stormwater screening and treatment as part of a combined sewer overflow initiative that the state Department of Environmental Protection has mandated.

Total investment in Donora Industrial Park for these two projects will be more than $4 million.

Federal tax dollars from the Environmental Protection Agency paid $60,000 for a brownfield assessment to determine what needed to be done to clean up the site.

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