From the community

EPA provides $3 million-plus for brownfields cleanups

Posted Aug. 27, 2014, at 12:18 p.m.
Last modified Aug. 27, 2014, at 3:22 p.m.

BOSTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has provided additional grants of $3.275 million in supplemental funding for communities in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont to carry out cleanup and redevelopment projects at contaminated brownfields properties.

The supplemental funds will support an array of cleanup and redevelopment projects in the following New England locations:

 Maine: Piscataquis County Economic Development Council; $300,000;  Maine Department of Economic and Community Development, $500,000.

Connecticut: Bridgeport, $300,000; New Haven , $200,000.

 Massachusetts: Gardner, $250,000; Merrimack Valley Planning Commission, $375,000.

 New Hampshire: Nashua, $300,000; Regional Economic Development Center of Southern New Hampshire, $300,000.

 Vermont: Southern Windsor County Regional Planning Commission, $250,000; Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, $500,000.

The funding is through EPA’s Brownfields revolving loan fund, which specifically supplies funding for grant recipients to provide loans and sub-grants to carry out cleanup activities at brownfield sites. When these loans are repaid, the loan amount is then returned to the fund and subgranted or re-loaned to other borrowers, providing an ongoing source of capital within a community for additional cleanup of brownfield sites. The supplemental grants range in funding from about $200,000 to $500,000 with an average grant award of $350,000.

“These additional EPA Brownfield grants are going to communities with proven track records in successfully cleaning up and redeveloping brownfield sites,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator for EPA’s New England office, in a press release. “EPA’s Brownfields program has a long history of helping to boost local economies, creating skilled well-paying local jobs, all while protecting people’s health and our communities.”

“I’m pleased that so many communities in Maine will benefit from this important investment that allows for the cleanup and redevelopment of brownfield sites,” said U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud. “Maximizing the potential of these sites strengthens local economies, lays a solid foundation for growth within a community, and ensures the safety and well-being of residents. I’m looking forward to seeing the positive development that will come from this investment.”

Nationally, there are an estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated sites in the United States. EPA’s Brownfields program targets these sites to encourage redevelopment, and help to provide the opportunity for productive community use of contaminated properties. EPA’s Brownfields investments overall have leveraged more than $21 billion in cleanup and redevelopment funding from public and private sources and on average, $17.79 is leveraged for every EPA Brownfields grant dollar spent. The funds have enabled the support of 97,500 jobs in cleanup, construction and redevelopment.

More information:

EPA’s Brownfields program: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/

Brownfields work in New England: http://www.epa.gov/region1/brownfields/index.html

Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund grants: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/rlflst.htm

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