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EPA Gives Lewiston $75,000 in Brownfields Grants for Site Assessment

Release Date: 02/15/2001
Contact Information: Peyton Fleming, EPA Press Office (617-918-1008)

BOSTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's New England Office announced today it will invest $450,000 to assess environmental conditions at abandoned, contaminated sites in six New England communities, including one in Lewiston, Maine.

The targeted site assessment in Lewiston will pay to evaluate contamination at a 1.9-acre riverfront parcel owned by the city. The city hopes to develop this former textile mill site with a hotel and conference center.

"This site assessment will play an important role in Lewiston's efforts to clean up this parcel so it can be put back to reuse," said Ira Leighton, acting regional administrator for EPA's New England office.

"I applaud the Environmental Protection Agency's continuing support of efforts to cleanup of Brownfields - manufacturing waste sites - at the Bates Mill facility in Lewiston," said U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe, who has worked for the past decade to make the Bates Mill project a reality. "Revitalization of Bates Mill is a top priority for Lewiston-Auburn, and the $75,000 provided today will permit city officials to make the most of this facility well into the future."

"These funds are vital to the city of Lewiston's progress in reclaiming these sites as potentially useful, productive areas for redevelopment," U.S. Sen. Susan M. Collins said. "I commend EPA for recognizing the need and meeting it."

"This significant grant from the Environmental Protection Agency will support and enhance work being done by municipal officials and community leaders in Lewiston to clean up and reuse commercial property," U.S. Rep. John Baldacci said. "The efforts that have already been made are having a beneficial impact on the economy and quality of life in Lewiston. I am pleased that the EPA is continuing to partner with the community and delighted that this grant will be forthcoming."

Under the agency's Brownfields Program, environmental consultants contracted by EPA will perform the assessments - costing about $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 are scheduled to begin in April and take about eight to 10 months. EPA New England's Brownfields Program has invested $3 million in assessing Brownfield sites throughout New England, including $195,000 in Maine, since February 1999. This money has helped communities restore and develop contaminated urban properties across New England, leading to the creation of thousands of jobs and generating millions of dollars in income and tax revenue. This brings to $2.7 million the amount EPA has invested to date in Brownfields projects in Maine.

Similar Brownfields site assessment awards have been central to redeveloping abandoned sites throughout New England. In Somerville, a site assessment helped achieve the $14 million redevelopment of an abandoned industrial building that became home this year to an assisted living facility operated by the Visiting Nurses Association. The development created 45 new jobs in Somerville and filled a vital community need. 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.

Other assessment grants were given to Worcester, Lawrence, and Fall River, Mass.; Hartford, Conn. and Montpelier, Vermont