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Release Date: 06/21/1999
Contact Information: Amy Miller, EPA Press Office (617-918-1042)

BOSTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that the town of New Milford, Conn., was chosen to receive a $156,000 Brownfields assessment pilot grant targeting a 72-acre industrial property.

New Milford is among three communities in Connecticut and 57 nationally that have been chosen to receive a total of $11.4 million in Brownfields pilot grants, which are designed to help spur the assessment and cleanup of contaminated urban parcels so that they can be redeveloped. Winsted and Haddam also received grants.

The town of New Milford will use its $200,000 to target "The Premises," which consists of more than 72 acres of industrially zoned property. EPA funds will be used for conducting site assessments, planning for cleanup and holding a community forum. There will likely be a commercial use for the targeted area.

"All over the country and all over New England, Brownfields sites like the one in New Milford are being cleaned up and restored, thereby creating news jobs, new tax revenues and new urban vitality," said John P. DeVillars, EPA's New England Administrator. "This $200,000 grant will provide much needed momentum to get the ball rolling in New Milford, beginning with the crucial first step of getting some of these sites assessed so we can determine how much they are contaminated."

DeVillars said the Brownfield program is among numerous initiatives the Clinton Administration has launched to revitalize the nation's cities. Among those efforts is the recently-proposed Better America Bonds initiative, which would give cities, states and tribal governments the ability to issue nearly $10 billion in bonds. The interest-free bonds could be used for preserving open space, creating parks, preserving wetlands and cleaning up Brownfield sites.

"This is another red letter day for Connecticut's Brownfields programs," U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman said. "These three communities are engaged in the hard work of turning urban eyesores into valuable resources, and this federal funding will help them go a long way toward realizing that goal."

"Brownfields literally plant the seeds of new economic and environmental life,' said U.S. Sen. Christopher Dodd. "They replenish the land and turn old into new - ultimately sparking new jobs and economic vitality and a better quality of life for families in our state."

A total of $1.4 million in Brownfield grants were awarded today to seven New England communities, including the following:

    • Winsted will use its $200,000 to conduct environmental site assessments on 16 parcels in five areas. EPA funds will also be used for community outreach activities, such as public meetings and fact sheets, and student outreach programs with a local community college. Plans for redevelopment include industrial, commercial and open space for walking trails.
    • The rural town of Haddam will use its $156,000 grant from EPA to focus on three properties in the Higganum Center. Funds will be used to perform and environmental assessment of the sites, develop cleanup plans and plan for reuse of the sites for small business incubator space, retail space, community space, an artists's cooperative or a maintenance facility.
Other grants to New England communities went to Marlborough, Taunton and Salem, Mass., and to the South Windsor County Regional Planning Commission in Vermont.