Bizzarro announces $8M in state funding for two Erie projects

IRG project approved for $5M, EMI project approved for $3M

ERIE, Oct. 31 – Continuing his efforts to drive economic revitalization in Erie, state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, announced two projects totaling $8 million in state funding have been approved.  

“The great majority of my work in Harrisburg revolves around working and serving as our region’s biggest advocate,” Bizzarro said. “Many times, the difference between a project moving forward or stalling hinges on the approval of state dollars to bridge the gap between the planning stage and reality. In that regard, it’s extremely rewarding to see two more big-ticket projects earn the state funding they needed to progress and move forward.”

The two local programs approved for funding include:

  • $5 million International Recycling Group (IRG): Funds will support development of a $200 million waste plastic recycling facility on 25-acres in a high-unemployment area of Erie City.
  • $3 million for Enterprise Development Center: Continued work for redevelopment and transformation of the former Erie Malleable Iron (EMI) plant into a business park.  

One of the largest recycling plants in the country, the IRG facility will repurpose the former Hammermill Paper property. The plant's development is expected to bring hundreds of new jobs to Erie while turning already used plastics into new materials that can be used by regional manufacturers.

The former EMI plant is a 19th Century foundry and machine shop being reimagined and rebuilt to host a 21st century high-tech business park. Bizzarro has been active in finding the financial support from the state needed to make this revitalization possible, including $4 million approved in April.

“We’re extremely grateful to Rep. Bizzarro and the entire delegation for their support and belief in this critical project,” Erie County Redevelopment Authority CEO Tina Mengine said.

Funding for these projects was supported through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program.

Today’s $8 million investment in Erie is added to $6 million approved last week for the Gateway and Erie Zoo. Overall, Bizzarro has brought back more than $35 million to Erie County in 2022 alone.