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EPA Announces $500,000 to Assist in Worcester, Mass. for Cleanup and Redevelopment Work

Release Date: 06/11/2012
Contact Information: Paula Ballentine, 617-918-1027

(Boston, Mass. – June 11, 2012) – EPA is providing the City of Worcester with $200,000 in Brownfield Cleanup grant funds for the environmental cleanup of the former Worcester Telegram & Gazette Building. In addition to this grant, the City of Worcester also received an additional $300,000 in funds to recapitalize its successful Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund (BCRLF).

The grant funding is part of $6.75 million in 33 separate Brownfields grants EPA is providing to help Massachusetts communities to assess, cleanup and redevelop abandoned or contaminated properties. The funding is part of more than $17 million in brownfields investments across the six New England states announced by EPA to protect health and the environment, create jobs and promote economic re-development in American communities.

“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.”

“Redeveloping the Telegram and Gazette property is a key element in the ongoing rebirth of downtown Worcester. These federal funds will allow us to reclaim contaminated land, and transform the site into an economic opportunity for private investment. I’m pleased that downtown Worcester will be cleaner, healthier, and more accessible for future development.”

“The key to our success will be continued coordination toward achieving a shared vision for our Downtown,” said Worcester City Manager Michael V. O’Brien. “This private/ public partnership will bring the expertise and the resources to the table to generate active, private sector interest that will add to the vitality of the entire Central Business District and surrounding 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.

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.

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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