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EPA AWARDS CENTRAL FALLS SITE ASSESSMENT TO REDEVELOP CONTAMINATED PROPERTY
Release Date: 05/13/1997
Contact Information: Leo Kay, Press Office, (617)918-4154
BOSTON -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded a site assessment valued at $50,000 to Central Falls today as part of a renewed national commitment to revitalize abandoned "brownfields" sites whose redevelopment thus far has been thwarted due to contamination.
Today's grants announcements were accompanied by a White House call for increased brownfields opportunities for municipalities plagued by abandoned, polluted properties. Fifteen federal agencies have teamed with 10 other organizations to pledge $300 million in grants and contracts, and $165 million in loan guarantees. White House officials also renewed the administration's proposal to provide tax incentives to those interested in returning to productive use contaminated properties.
As part of today's announcement, the EPA's New England office awarded more than $1.3 million in grants and services to New England municipalities for brownfields activities. Since the program's inception three years ago, New England towns and municipalities from Limestone Maine to Bridgeport, Conn. have now received 20 brownfields grants, valued at more than $3.5 million. New England has received more brownfields grants than any other region the country.
The former Spintex Industrial Mill was abandoned after a fire gutted the building in 1995. Central Falls officials plan to use the two-acre site in conjunction with the city's proposed River Island Recreation complex.
"What were once considered stumbling blocks to redevelopment are now building blocks," said John P. DeVillars, administrator of the EPA's New England office. "Here in Rhode Island, EPA and our community partners will prove yet again that environmental protection and sustainable economic development go hand in hand."
"Abandoned industrial sites such as the Spintex Mill can be an important ingredient in our region's economic future as well as a reminder of our economic past," said Senator John Chafee. "Federal, state and local governments can and should work together in an effort to fulfill the promise of brownfield sites such as this."
"Central Falls is committed to enhancing its economic base through redevelopment. There is enormous hope and potential for this community's efforts, in part thanks to these funds to clean up the old Spintex site," said Senator Jack Reed. "All of Central Falls' residents will benefit from the redevelopment of the old mill into a recreation complex that will benefit current residents and heighten the appeal to potential residents."
"The EPA's brownfields program continues to bolster the quality of life in industrial communities like Central Falls," said Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy. "This award will not only go a long way toward seeing that a blighted and fire-ravaged area is cleaned up, but the residents will ultimately benefit from the exciting plans to provide recreational activities. This is a perfect example of the federal, state and local governments working together to help rebuild the industrial areas."
Central Falls is the second Rhode Island entity within the past year to receive EPA brownfields assistance. The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management was awarded $200,000 last year.
In addition to today's Rhode Island site assessment, the New England office of the EPA awarded $1.2 million in brownfields grants and services to municipalities in Massachusetts, Maine and Connecticut. Since the program's inception three years ago, New England towns and municipalities from Limestone Maine to Bridgeport, Conn. have now received 20 brownfields grants, valued at more than $3.5 million.