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EPA Awards Funds to Cleanup and Revitalize Springfield, Mass.

Release Date: 06/27/2011
Contact Information: EPA Public Affairs, (617) 918-1010

(Boston, Mass. – June 27, 2011) – As part of $3.5 million in Brownfields grants that EPA is making available for Massachusetts communities, EPA has provided a $400,000 cleanup grant to Springfield for the Union Station redevelopment project and a $500,000 community-wide revolving loan fund supplemental funding to the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission. The funding is part of more than $76 million in EPA brownfields investments across the country announced recently by EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to protect health and the environment, create jobs and promote economic re-development in American communities.

“This EPA funding will help strengthen the economic foundation of these communities,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA New England’s office. “Cleaning and revitalizing contaminated sites helps create jobs, providing a solid foundation for a community to create new businesses and neighborhood centers, while making our environment cleaner and the community healthier.”

EPA Brownfields grant money assists 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.

"I am proud to announce the $400,000 from the Environmental Protection Agency coming to the City of Springfield. As central and western Massachusetts begins to rebuild following the devastating twister that affected 19 communities, I can think of no better timing for this funding. I am thrilled to partner with the EPA to continue the revitalization of downtown Springfield. While we progress with Union Station, our city is becoming an even better place to live, work, and visit," “ stated Congressman Richard Neal.

“We’re thrilled about this award," said Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, "these investments help leverage redevelopment, promote economic growth and lead to job creation". "Revitalization of this long-vacant, historic station will yield a 21st Century regional intermodal transportation facility and catalyze transit-oriented development. Environmental cleanup up is critical first step in the redevelopment process", said Sarno.

The $12.55 million in grant and Revolving Loan Fund money awarded by EPA to a variety of New England communities and organization will provide substantial help around the region. The EPA funding leverages over $46 million of other money to pursue brownfields cleanup and revitalization work. In New England, these projects have created 98 clean up jobs this year as well as 135 redevelopment jobs.

The money announced today for the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission falls under EPA’s brownfields revolving loan funding. Since 1995, EPA RLF recipients have provided 53 loans and 63 grants in New England totaling more than $29 million for brownfields cleanup. The loan funds have paved the way for more than $189 million in public and private cleanup and redevelopment investment and for 1034 jobs in cleanup, construction and redevelopment.

"The Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (PVPC)is extremely grateful to receive an additional $500,000 from the U.S. EPA to supplement its existing Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund (RLF). The Brownfields RLF has successfully assisted many communities throughout the Pioneer Valley Planning Region to clean-up and subsequently stimulate our region's economy. Through this additional funding, the PVPC will be able to continue to assist its 43 member communities to provide further stimulus for revitalization that will provide social, evnvironmental and economic opportunities for both our residents and businesses."

As of June 2011, EPA’s brownfields assistance has leveraged more than $16.3 billion in cleanup and redevelopment funding, and helped create more than 70,000 jobs in cleanup, construction and redevelopment. These investments and jobs target local, under-served and economically disadvantaged neighborhoods – places where environmental cleanups and new jobs are most needed.

Since the beginning of the Brownfields Program, in New England alone EPA has awarded 268 assessment grants totaling $67.1 million, 61 revolving loan fund grants and supplemental funding totaling $65 million and 174 cleanup grants totaling $39.3 million. These grant funds have paved the way for more than $1.3 billion in public and private cleanup and redevelopment investment and for 8815 jobs in assessment, cleanup, construction and redevelopment.

In 2002, the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act was passed. The brownfields law expanded the definition of what is considered a brownfield, so communities may now focus on mine-scarred lands, sites contaminated by petroleum, or sites contaminated as a result of manufacturing and distribution of illegal drugs (e.g. meth labs).

More Information:

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

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