Redeveloping Old Industrial Property

One might expect the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, frequently accused of destroying jobs through its emissions regulations, to be very interested in doing all it can to create new ones. But in Brooke and Hancock counties, the agency is missing an excellent opportunity to do that.

Members of the Brooke-Hancock Brownfield Task Force work to expedite the process of converting old industrial sites to locations for new businesses. They have had some success in that. The task force helped pave the way for acquisition of the old Banner-Fibreboard property in Wellsburg by Eagle Manufacturing. That firm is constructing a large new building on the property.

But during a meeting this week, task force members discussed what may be a bleak future. Federal funding for their efforts will end in just a few weeks and the EPA has rejected a request for more money.

Still, task force members plan to continue meeting and doing what they can to promote progress through redevelopment of brownfields sites. “The issues are still there,” explained Wellsburg City Manager Mark Henne.

Indeed they are. EPA officials should rethink their rejection of the task force’s grant request. It should be approved.