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EPA and NH DES Fund Brownfields Assessment

Release Date: 12/02/2002
Contact Information: Alice Kaufman, EPA Press Office, 617-918-1064

BOSTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the N.H. Department of Environmental Services (DES) have agreed to fund a $75,000 Brownfield assessment at a 19th Century former woolen mill in Troy, N.H. DES will use its contract consultants, Sanborn Head and Associates, to assess potential contamination at the 19-acre Troy Mills property at 30 Monadnock St. Since the beginning of the federal Brownfields program in 1995, New Hampshire has received $5.5 million.

"The federal Brownfields program is trying to jump start the economy by providing funds to communities to assess idled properties that have the potential for reuse", said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator for EPA New England. "Across New England, we are fueling local economies and encouraging new businesses."

New Hampshire DES Acting Commissioner Dana Bisbee praised the town of Troy for initiating this Brownfields project. "Redeveloping old industrial sites like Troy Mills is critical for maintaining a town's economic vitality, as well as preserving its heritage of historic buildings. Efforts like this one have proven successful in many other New Hampshire communities and DES is committed to helping ensure the success of this revitalization project."

In its early years, Troy Mill manufactured tailored horse blankets. More recently the mill produced car upholstery with synthetic fibers. At the time the mill closed, there were approximately 25 employees. Troy Mills filed for bankruptcy in 2001.

The town of Troy is interested in redeveloping the site to attract new business, and put the mill property into full productive use. Tenants currently occupy portions of the mill building, although the facility is largely unused.

Troy Selectmen welcomed the news. "Fear of environmental liabilities is a big barrier to reuse, and the mill was a big part of our community's economic base. This assessment will help remove that barrier and promote redevelopment of the Troy Mills complex as a productive asset. DES and EPA are making a big difference for our small town with this project!"

DES consultants plan visited the site last week to design the environmental investigation. The site assessment will include field investigations, including soil sampling, groundwater monitoring and an assessment of conditions inside the mill building. Based on findings from these consultants, Sanborn Head and Assoc. will develop a detailed plan cleaning up the site.

These grants are funded through the new Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act signed by President Bush in January to help states and communities around the country clean up and revitalize Brownfield sites. As part of his fiscal 2003 budget request, Bush has called for doubling funds available for the Brownfields program to $200 million.

Brownfields are abandoned, idle or under-used properties where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination.

For more information on Brownfields in New England, visit EPA's website at http://www.epa.gov/region1/brownfields/.