The Mifflin County Environmental Resources Committee met on December 14, 2004 to receive an update on the EPA Brownfields Pilot Project. Steve Fulton, Project Manager with the ARM Group, Inc., discussed the environmental assessments completed on the three priority project sites. Elevated concentrations of lead and arsenic were found in soils at all three sites, with higher concentrations of cadmium and chromium also detected in the sludge pits. The contamination was relatively limited with no exposure risks at the Corkins site or MCIDC plaza site, but contamination was more extensive at the sludge pits site, including some metals in groundwater.
As part of the close-out process, a decision was made to undertake a preliminary redevelopment and remediation plan of one site. The recreation or sludge pits site was chosen for this final phase. Further evaluation of the sludge pits site was chosen because of the site’s potential to be redeveloped for recreation purposes and its connection to other community projects. Appropriate remedial measures were determined, which consist of filling the sludge pits with soil and preventing future use of the groundwater at the site. During the December 14 meeting, the ARM Group presented a preliminary site redevelopment plan on how the property could be used for passive recreational activity and its potential link to the proposed Kish River Walk. Following the submission of the preliminary remediation plan to EPA and the environmental assessments, the project was closed out in March 2005. The intent of this redevelopment plan is to assist MCIDC and Granville Township in developing a future state grant application to implement the plan.
In July 2004, the Planning and Development Department submitted an application to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for a Regional Geographic Initiative (RGI) grant to assist with the remediation of a site identified in the Mifflin County Brownfields Pilot Project. The proposed project would help restore the Sludge Pits site owned by the Mifflin County Industrial Development Corporation (MCIDC) located in Granville Township. Following site remediation, the development of a recreational area was proposed, which would result in the establishment of the Fort Granville Heritage Park. The project would include passive and active recreational activities, such as a walking trail and boat launch. A bridge connection to the Kish River Walk was also proposed as part of the long-term plan. In March 2005, EPA notified the county that the RGI application was not approved. Mifflin County’s application was one of 150 applications, of which eight were successful.
The proposed project could potentially be funded through other state or federal grant programs, such as the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), or EPA. The Planning and Development Department continues to pursue funding opportunities for this project.