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Sites in Corrina, Maine and Lowell, Mass. Recognized at Redevelopment Conference

Release Date: 08/04/04
Contact Information: Contact: Peyton Fleming, EPA Press Office (617-918-1008)

For Immediate Release: Aug. 4, 2004; Release # 04-08-02

BOSTON - Two Superfund redevelopment projects in New England that won national awards were recognized today during a redevelopment conference at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro. The all-day conference, co-sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Kraft Group, owners of the New England Patriots, was designed to inform developers and local officials about opportunities to redevelop contaminated properties in New England.

The Eastland Woolen Mill site in Corrina and the Silresim site in Lowell were both recognized at the conference, called “Improve Your Field Position: Contaminated to Commercially Viable.” More than 300 people attended the conference.

The Eastland Woolen Mill site was recognized as winner of a 2004 Build America Award, presented by the Association of General Contractors. The site, which was honored in the environmental remediation category, is being redeveloped as a senior center and ultimately a residential and commercial enterprise zone with green space and a riverfront walk.

The team redeveloping the Silresim Superfund site as the Tanner Street Initiative won the 2004 Analysis and Planning Award of Merit from the American Society of Landscape Architects. The award is administered by a group dedicated to expanding the knowledge and promoting the value of landscape architecture. This Silresim design team, funded through an EPA grant, includes the city of Lowell’s Division of Planning and Development and StoSS landscape architects of Boston.

The conference was designed to help developers, local officials and federal/state agencies share information and to encourage partnerships that will result in more properties being reused.
“Across New England, hundreds of contaminated properties sit vacant and are waiting to be developed,” said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office, who spoke on one of the panels. “At this conference, developers and public officials learned how energetic and visionary teams in such places as Corrina, Brockton and Lowell are turning 'eyesores' into places of community pride.”

Government policymakers, experts on state and federal cleanup programs and developers with experience in developing contaminated sites spoke at the conference. Booths offered information on cleanup programs, redevelopment tools, sustainable development and other key topics. New England towns and cities had booths to showcase their properties.

Keynote speaker were Rob Pratt, director of the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust and Brockton Mayor Jack Yunits, whose city is redeveloping a 27-acre vacant parcel into a solar-panel “Brightfield” park.

The conference was endorsed by: the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties; the Green Roundtable, the Urban Land Institute Boston, the National Brownfields Association and Grow Smart Rhode Island.

The Kraft Group, a major real estate developer, last year won the Build America Award from the Association of General Contractors.

EPA’s cleanup at the Eastland Woolen Mill site has helped revitalize the abandoned mill complex. Construction of senior housing on the back portion of the site will begin in late 2004. The town has created a blueprint to restore the formerly contaminated parcel to a residential and commercial enterprise zone that incorporates public green space, including a riverside walking trail.

Since 1999, EPA has worked with the town of Corinna, the state and local stakeholders to remove contaminated mill structures and 100,000 tons of contaminated soil so the property can be re-used. The project required rerouting the East Branch of the Sebasticook River and relocating a highway, bridges and a historic building so contamination could be excavated and treated. Abandoned mill buildings contaminated with asbestos were demolished and removed to allow access to the contaminated soil.

The Tanner Street Initiative involves recovering an ex-industrial corridor and highly contaminated Superfund site. This five-acre site, part of a 120-acre industrial and commercial district, once processed and treated a variety of chemical wastes, waste oil, solvents and sludge to reclaim some of the valuable chemicals contained in the waste. In 1977, Silresim declared bankruptcy and abandoned the site, leaving behind 30,000 decaying drums and several large chemical storage tanks. In 1983, EPA added the site to its list of hazardous waste sites needing cleanup.

The redevelopment will occur between 2003 and 2025. The project team included StoSS landscape architects of Boston, the Center for Technology and Environment at the Harvard Design School, the Bioengieering Group in Salem and TRC Environmental of Lowell. The Tanner team also received a citation in urban design from the 51st annual Progressive Architecture Awards given by Architecture Magazine for “innovative and unbuilt work” in architecture and urban design.

Related Information:
Eastland Woolen Mill Fact Sheet
Silresim Fact Sheet
Long-Term Cleanups