EPA Awards $3.5M in Brownfields Funds to Revitalize Connecticut Communities

May 31st, 2012 | By | Category: General

The Environmental Protection Agency is providing $3.45 million in Brownfields grants to help Connecticut communities to assess, cleanup and redevelop abandoned or contaminated properties.  The funding is part of more than $69 million in EPA brownfields investments across the country announced by EPA last week to protect health and the environment, create jobs and promote economic re-development in American communities.

The grant money can assist work to reclaim sites including old textile mills, sites containing hazardous substances and petroleum products and other abandoned industrial and commercial properties.  EPA’s Brownfields program encourages redevelopment of America’s estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites.

In Connecticut this year, EPA is providing Brownfields grants to the following municipalities and groups:

·    City of Meriden, $200,000 (cleanup grant, 116 Cook Ave. parcel)
·    City of Middletown, $200,000 (cleanup grant, Midstate Autobody Property)
·    Town of Newtown, $200,000 (cleanup grant, Fairfield Hills Campus)
·    Town of Preston, $800,000 (1 assessment and 3 cleanup grants, Norwich State Hospital Property)
·    Regional Economic Xcelleration Development (REX), $350,000 (Community-wide Revolving Loan Fund Supplemental grant)
·    Valley Council of Governments, $750,000 (2 Community-wide assessment and 1 Revolving Loan Fund Supplemental grant)
·    Waterbury Development Corporation, $950,000 (2 Community-wide assessment and 1 multi-purpose grant for assessment & cleanup work at Waterbury Industrial Commons at 1875 Thomaston Avenue)

“EPA Brownfields funding helps strengthen the economic foundation and is a catalyst for further growth in our communities,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA New England’s office. “Cleaning and revitalizing contaminated sites helps create jobs, and can help a community to create new businesses and neighborhood centers, while making our environment cleaner and the community healthier.”

This year for the first time, EPA is also making available approximately $3.8 million in new pilot grants to nine recipients across the country for cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated properties. The pilot Multi-Purpose grants, funded by EPA’s Brownfields program, will help recipients to conduct assessments and cleanup activities, and secure funding to eliminate delays in moving from assessment to cleanup. The investments will continue to provide communities with necessary funding to help clean up America’s land, boost local economies and create jobs while protecting public health. The Waterbury Development Corp. is the recipient of one of these new grants.

“Investment in the clean up and reuse of contaminated properties provides the catalyst to improving the lives of residents living in or near Brownfields communities. This funding will help foster local economic growth and leverage jobs in communities where they are needed most,” said EPA Assistant Administrator Mathy Stanislaus. “A revitalized Brownfields site reduces threats to human health and the environment, promotes community involvement, and attracts investment in local neighborhoods.”

Since the beginning of EPA’s Brownfields Program, in New England alone EPA has awarded 296 assessment grants totaling $72.7 million, 62 revolving loan fund grants and supplemental funding totaling $68.4 million and 213 cleanup grants totaling $47 million.  These grant funds have paved the way for more than $1.45 billion in public and private cleanup and redevelopment investment and for 9,756 jobs in assessment, cleanup, construction and redevelopment on over 2200 sites across New England.

Nationally, the figures are impressive: As of May 2012, EPA’s brownfields assistance has leveraged more than $18.3 billion in cleanup and redevelopment funding from a variety of public and private sources and helped create approximately 75,500 jobs. More than 18,000 properties have been assessed, and over 700 properties have been cleaned up. These investments and jobs target local, under-served and economically disadvantaged neighborhoods – places where environmental cleanups and new jobs are most needed.

More Information:

EPA Brownfields program in New England: http://epa.gov/region1/brownfields/index.html

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