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EPA Award Brownfield Grants to New England Communities; Part of $14 Million in 80 Communities Nationwide

Release Date: 05/20/2002
Contact Information: Mark Merchant, EPA Press Office (617) 918-1013

BOSTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today it will spend $2.25 million to help assess, clean and redevelop abandoned, contaminated sites throughout New England.

"Reclaiming America's brownfields properties is an effective way to help revitalize and reinvigorate our nation's blighted neighborhoods while at the same time preventing urban sprawl," said EPA Administrator Christie Whitman.

The New England projects selected for these grants are part of a total of $14 million handed out nationwide. Two Connecticut projects will receive a total of 300,000; one Maine project will receive $150,000; five Massachusetts projects will receive $950,000; two New Hampshire projects will receive $500,000; and two Vermont projects will receive $350,000

"These grants will bring much needed momentum to community brownfields programs all across New England, said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator for EPA's New England office. "Dozens of contaminated sites all across New England have already been successfully restored through this program. The money we offer to the communities in our region today ensures even more successes down the road."

Earlier this year, President Bush signed bipartisan legislation that will encourage the cleanup and redevelopment of old industrial properties – cleaning up our environment, creating jobs and protecting small businesses from frivolous lawsuits. In addition, the President's fiscal year 2003 budget request doubled the funds available through the EPA in FY 02 – from $98 million to $200 million -- to help states and communities around the country clean up and revitalize brownfields sites.

Under the EPA's Brownfields Assessment Program, communities receive funding to assess contamination at abandoned and vacant sites, and to estimate the costs of cleaning up sites for redevelopment. Communities also receive funding to establish revolving loan programs allowing them to provide low interest loans to clean up these sites. Once assessed and cleaned, these sites can be put back into productive use by the community.

"Brownfields reclamation is one of the great environmental success stories of the past decade," Whitman continued. "But the story is hardly over. EPA and its partners in every state of the union are ready to write the next chapter in the brownfields story. Given the commitment of this Administration, I can guarantee you that story will have a very happy ending."

Funds for site assessments were given to the following communities:

Claremont, N.H.
Amount: $200,000
Profile: The grant targets several Brownfields in the downtown area and mill districts

Northampton, Mass.
Amount: $200,000
Profile: The grant targets three former industrial sites for redevelopment in the Historic Mill River Corridor downtown.

Holyoke, Mass.
Amount: $200,000 (with $50,000 additional for greenspace preservation)
Profile: The grant targets four industrial sites that are surrounded by predominantly minority, low-income neighborhoods in the city's downtown area.

Franklin Regional Council of Government, Franklin Co., Mass.
Amount: $200,000
Profile: The grant targets several Brownfields in the downtown and mill districts

Rutland, Vt.
Amount: $200,000
Profile: The grant targets three former industrial sites located on or near the city's railyard for redevelopment into an industrial or commercial complex.

Funds for Supplemental Site Assessments of ongoing projects were given to the following New England communities:

Wincheser/Winsted, Conn.
Amount: $150,000
Profile: Winsted plans to conduct Phase I, II, and III environmental site assessments at priority sites that are key to the city's redevelopment strategy.

Nashua, N.H.
Amount: $100,000
Profile: The grant targets a Broad Street Parkway corridor property requiring detailed site investigation.

Marlborough, Mass.
Amount: $150,000
Profile: The grant will complete site testing and remediation planning for three target sites within a one-mile radius in the heart of the city, including two sites adjacent to the Assabet River Rail Trail.

New Milford, Conn.
Amount: $150,000
Profile: The grant targets the 72-acre former Century Brass Products facility that is contaminated with PCBs and is near the confluence of two rivers.

Windham Regional Planning Commission, Vt.
Amount: $150,000
Profile: The Windham Regional Commission will conduct environmental assessments on high priority sites with the potential for redevelopment in distressed towns.

Somerville, Mass.
Amount: $150,000
Profile: The supplemental assistance will be used to expand Brownfields redevelopment projects to include residential, recreational, and other noncommercial activities.

New Hampshire Office of State Planning
Amount: $150,000 (with $50,000 additional for greenspace preservation)
Profile: The grant will target one site from the original Pilot in Durham for further assessment and cleanup planning, assess additional Brownfields in upland coastal communities, and assess a site in Dover for reuse as a recreational park.

Lewiston, Maine
Amount: $150,000
Profile: The Pilot plans to further Lewiston's revitalization by conducting assessments and redevelopment planning for the two-acre W.S. Libbey Mill site and two smaller properties along the city's western gateway.

For more information, visit the following EPA Web sites:

Smart Growth


New England Success Stories