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Release Date: 03/11/1999
Contact Information: Amy Miller, EPA Press Office (617-918-1042)

BOSTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's New England Office announced today it will invest $820,000 to assess environmental conditions at 14 abandoned, contaminated sites in 13 New England communities, including four in Massachusetts: Brockton, Lynn, New Bedford and Newburyport.

"This is an investment in New England's urban centers. Suburban sprawl threatens our environmental and economic future. One way to control sprawl is to reuse forgotten, abandoned urban properties and turn them into urban economic development opportunities," said John P. DeVillars, EPA's New England Administrator. "Brownfields redevelopment is an example of smart economics and smart growth. These site assessments are important steps towards reuse of these properties."

Under the agency's Brownfields program, environmental consultants contracted by EPA will perform the assessments - ranging in value from $35,000 to $75,000 each - to determine the nature and extent of contamination on the properties, and to estimate the costs of cleaning up the site for redevelopment. The assessments, which are scheduled to begin by early summer, generally take several months to complete.

EPA-New England's Brownfields program has helped communities restore and develop dozens of contaminated urban properties across New England, resulting in the creation of thousands of jobs and generating millions of dollars in income and tax revenue. In Massachusetts, EPA funding for a site assessment of the former Post Office Square in Lowell was essential for the clean-up and redevelopment of this property, which is the new home of the 6,000-seat Paul E. Tsongas Sports Arena.

The following is a brief description of the properties that will be evaluated in Massachusetts:

Montello Auto Body and adjacent vacant land
This 70-acre former auto body and repair site, located at 166 East Ashland St. in Brockton's Economic Development Zone, is slated for redevelopment for industrial use and as an open space buffer along Trout Brook.
Estimated cost of site assessment is $75,000.

Former Beacon Chevrolet:

This 5.5-acre former car dealership and repair facility at 254 Lynnway and adjacent to Lynn Harbor will be renovated for residential and marina use.
Estimated cost of site evaluation is $75,000.

New Bedford
Standard Times Field:

This 25.5-acre site on Front Street adjacent to New Bedford Harbor will be developed for marine-related industrial use.
Estimated cost of site evaluation is $75,000.

Former DPW Yard

This 1.3-acre site at 129 Merrimac St. near downtown Newburyport will be developed for a mix of affordable and market rate housing
Estimated cost of site assessment is $35,000.