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Essex Museum Awarded $50,000 EPA Brownfields Assessment

Release Date: 06/20/2002
Contact Information: Andrew Spejewski, EPA Press Office, 617-918-1014

BOSTON. – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it is awarding a targeted brownfields assessment grant valued at $50,000 to the Essex Historical Society and Shipbuilding Museum. Under the award, EPA will assess environmental contamination at the Museum's Main Street site, providing the museum with information to begin cleaning the site and expanding the museum.

"Across New England, towns and cities are working very hard to make their downtowns productive and livable," said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator for EPA's New England Office. "The partnership among the Shipbuilding Museum and the town of Essex is a great example, and we're proud to help by awarding this site assessment. It will give them the information they need to move forward with plans for this site."

EPA estimates that the U.S. has between 500,000 and one million brownfields – properties abandoned or underdeveloped because of contamination or fear of contamination. EPA has awarded $52 million in brownfields grants to New England, including $24 million to Massachusetts. Across New England, these grants have led to 640 completed site assessments; $300 million dollars leveraged for redevelopment; and 2,050 jobs created.

Under the grant, the Essex Historical Society and Shipbuilding Museum with support from the Town Of Essex will be receiving assessment services from EPA New England. The assessment will focus on the environmental impacts of 200 years of shipbuilding activities at the museum's 1.9 acre site, determining what environmental contamination exists. This will allow the Museum to cleanup, improve and develop areas of the site in line with the Museum's educational mission. The site assessment is valued at an estimated $50,000.

Also today, EPA announced targeted brownfields assessments for the towns of Foxborough and Bellingham, Mass. The two assessments are valued at $200,000. Today's announcement also follows Monday's announcement of three assessments to Connecticut towns, valued at $200,000.