The Borough of Wilkinsburg, in the East End of the City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has been under Act 47 of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for more than one decade. The Borough has a very low tax base and high unemployment rate. There are few revenue-generating enterprises within the Borough. Wilkinsburg was a vibrant and prosperous historic suburban neighborhood of the City of Pittsburgh during the middle 19th Century and early 20th Century. Immigrants to the United States from Western Europe populated the Borough and developed thriving and prosperous businesses. Not only did Wilkinsburg serve as a bedroom community for the thriving steel industry in Pittsburgh, it also served as a service hub for other supporting industries in southwestern Pennsylvania.
The decline of the steel industry in the late 1970s and early 1980s saw a decline in the fortunes of Wilkinsburg. With suburban neighborhoods developing much further away from the core of the City of Pittsburgh, Wilkinsburg saw further erosion of its population and tax base.
Scope of Work
Multi-Lynx Companies, Inc. provided professional environmental site assessment and subsurface investigation services to the Allegheny County Department of Economic Development and a private real estate developer for the development of a former shopping center site in the Borough of Wilkinsburg, in order to facilitate commercial retail development of the site. The inner-ring shopping center site was vacant but preliminary data suggested that environmental impairment threatened the proposed development.
Multi-Lynx conducted a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment for the purposes of investigating the magnitude and extent of the presence of petroleum, organic chemicals, metals and asbestos on the property. The assessment included a detailed topographic survey of the site, subsurface test borings, installation of groundwater monitoring wells, and sampling of soil, fill, and groundwater. The assessment results revealed the presence of dry cleaning solvent in the groundwater, and petroleum and metals in the fill, confined to a small portion of the property.
The data, adjacent land use, and local records indicated that the source of the solvent was a release at an adjacent dry cleaning supply facility. The petroleum impacted fill evidently was brought to the site from another property where a leaking underground storage tank had been removed. The impacted groundwater was migrating towards a proposed stormwater retention basin for the new commercial development.
Prior to developing the most feasible approach for environmental site clean-up, the Multi-Lynx project team met with federal and state environmental regulatory agency officials to review the available options and to determine agency preferences. Thereafter, the Multi-Lynx project team developed a conceptual plan that achieved the following objectives.
1. Demonstrated that the fill and groundwater could be managed at a cost that was compatible with the proposed development plan, and in accordance with a risk-based remedial strategy that satisfied Federal and State environmental regulatory standards, and
2. Implemented engineering and institutional controls, including an aerator in the stormwater basin, to ensure that the impacted groundwater would not pose an unacceptable environmental risk, while enhancing the aesthetic amenities of the proposed development
Borough of Wilkinsburg
Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA
CB Richard Ellis, and Allegheny County Economic Development Department
Project Task Orders
1. Project Management and Coordination
2. Subsurface Investigations
3. Environmental Assessment
4. Topographical Survey
5. Permitting Assistance
Project Site Looking Northwest
Project Site Looking West
Panoramic View of Project Site
Project Site Looking Southwest
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