EPA Will Award Nearly $2.6 Million in Supplemental Funds to Clean up Contaminated Brownfields Sites in New England

By Carmen Russo

BOSTON – EPA will award additional grants of nearly $2.6 million in supplemental
funding for communities in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and
Vermont to carry out cleanup and redevelopment projects at contaminated Brownfields
properties. The projects will help communities create jobs while protecting people’s
health and the environment. The supplemental funding, ranging from about $200,000 to
$500,000, will support an array of cleanup and redevelopment projects in the
following New England locations:

Connecticut

– Department of Economic & Community Development – $205,000

– Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments – $427,000

Maine

– Greater Portland Council of Governments – $300,000

– Piscataquis County Economic Development Council – $300,000

Massachusetts

– City of Worcester – $200,000

Rhode Island

– City of Pawtucket – $300,000

Vermont

– Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development – $500,000

– Windham Regional Commission – $350,000

Total = $2,582,000

“This EPA funding is going to communities and programs with a proven track record
for successfully cleaning up and redeveloping local brownfield sites,” said Curt
Spalding, regional administrator for EPA’s New England office. “EPA’s New England
Brownfields program has a long history of helping to boost local economies, creating
skilled well-paying local jobs, all the while protecting people’s health and our
communities.”

The $2.582 million in funding for the five New England states is part of
approximately $10.7 million nationally EPA has made available for supplemental
brownfield funding under EPA’s Brownfields revolving loan fund (RLF). The eight New
England recipients for supplemental RLF funding are among 33 organizations
nationally that will use 2016 RLF funding to help approximately 40 communities carry
out cleanup and redevelopment projects. Many of the RLF cleanups are in underserved
and economically disadvantages neighborhoods – places where environmental cleanup
and new jobs are most needed.

Innovation has always been an important component of EPA’s Brownfields program. RLF
funds are being used to encourage and support innovation, such as renewable energy
projects. An example is the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development,
which plans to use RLF supplemental funds for the development of a solar farm on a
landfill.

Recipients use EPA’s Brownfields RLF funding to provide loans, and in some cases,
sub-grants to carry out cleanup activities at brownfield sites. The RLF grantees
provide a level of funding for cleanups that isn’t available through traditional
financing options or through other brownfield grants, serving as the critical gap
financing needed to jump-start the redevelopment process. RLF funding is often the
last key piece of funding needed to make the cleanup and reuse of the property
happen. When RLF loans are repaid, the loan amount is then returned to the fund and
re-loaned to other borrowers, providing an ongoing sustainable source of capital
within a community for additional cleanup of brownfield sites.

EPA continues to engage and help new communities address barriers to redeveloping
sites which are plaguing their communities. All of the grantees selected for funding
have significantly depleted their RLF funds and need supplemental funding in order
to recapitalize their loan pool to continue making loans and subgrants to clean up
brownfields properties. The supplemental funds help keep the cleanup momentum going
so that more cleanups can be completed. To date, across the United States, RLF
grantees have completed over 400 cleanups, leveraged approximately 15,000 jobs and
over $5 billion of public and private funding.

Nationally, there are an estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated sites. EPA’s
Brownfields program targets these sites to encourage redevelopment, and help to
provide the opportunity for productive community use of contaminated properties.

More information:

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

Brownfields work in New England:
https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/brownfields-and-land-revitalization-connecticut-maine-massachusetts-new-hampshire-rhode#pane-1

Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund grants:
https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/fy16-rlf-supplemental-funding-list