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EPA Technical Assistance Will Help Concord, New Hampshire with Sustainable Growth and Development 

Release Date: 10/19/2010
Contact Information: Paula Ballentine, 617-918-1027

(Boston, Mass. – October 19, 2010) – Recognizing local governments' challenges in addressing infrastructure constraints, protecting water quality, setting development standards and creating options for housing and transportation, EPA has chosen Concord, New Hampshire as one of eight recipients nationwide to receive targeted technical assistance on growth and development issues. The project will receive approximately $65K in consulting services in addition to direct assistance from EPA staff.

EPA will support Concord in their efforts to sustainably redevelop historic properties in its downtown core. Concord is considered to have the most diverse downtown in the entire state, with approximately 60 buildings that date back to the 1800s or early 1900s that house nearly 200 retail and restaurant businesses as well as over 30 law offices and dozens of nonprofits and government agencies. This same quality that makes the downtown a wonderful place to work or visit is also one of its most significant challenges, since the need for regular maintenance is exacerbated in buildings that are over 100 years old. 

Concord has sought assistance from EPA to identify ways in which they can support redevelopment of historic properties that comply with new energy-efficient and green building standards, while still conforming to state historic preservation codes. Currently, the perception of local developers and investors that it is too costly and time-intensive to comply with both sets of standards is preventing these buildings' redevelopment, and hindering achievement of larger community-wide goals for smart growth and sustainable development. This technical assistance effort will offer concrete solutions to Concord's challenges, as well as guidance for a national audience on the ways in which they can create a regulatory framework that supports the sustainable, green redevelopment of historic buildings.

“I am optimistic that our coordinated efforts will help Concord develop practical approaches that make good sense across the board, for housing, transportation and the environment,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office.

The national Smart Growth Implementation Assistance projects from EPA’s Office of Sustainable Communities will focus on key topics central to the Partnership’s work: cross-departmental coordination of sustainability policies; cities undergoing economic transition; infrastructure financing; historic preservation as part of downtown revitalization; and, incorporating climate change adaptation as part of long-term plans.

All of these projects are being coordinated through the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, which began in June 2009, when HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, DOT Secretary Ray LaHood, and EPA Administrator Jackson came together to announce that they would work together to coordinate federal actions on housing, transportation, and environmental protection. This interagency collaboration gets better results for communities and uses taxpayer money more efficiently. Coordinating federal investments in infrastructure, facilities, and services meets multiple economic, environmental, and community objectives with each dollar spent.

A new publication has just been released that looks at the progress the Partnership has made in its first year in targeting resources to help communities strengthen their economies by developing more sustainably, removing regulatory and policy barriers to make it easier for state and local governments to access federal resources.


For more information on the Smart Growth Assistance Program:

http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/sgia.htm

For more information on the Partnership:

http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/partnership/index.html

For the Partnership Progress report:

www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/pdf/partnership_year1.pdf

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