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EPA Awards $400,000 to Help Framingham Expand Current Brownfields Assessment Program

Release Date: 08/8/2012
Contact Information: Paula Haschig, 617-918-1027

(Boston, Mass.-- August 8, 2012) – EPA will provide its third Brownfields assessment grant of $400,000 to the town of Framingham, Mass. to total $800,000 in the past 5 years.  This grant will provide the Town with both hazardous substance and petroleum funding to help expand their current assessment program. 

Leveraging these funds with their remaining grant funds will help bring additional resources to the Downtown and Southeast Framingham areas, where the largest numbers of potential brownfields exist, as well as helping to protect the health of the Town’s most vulnerable populations.  The funding is part of more than $18 million in EPA 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.

In Massachusetts this year, EPA is providing $6.75 million in 33 separate Brownfields grants to communities across the state.

“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.”

There are an estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites in America. In 2011, the EPA’s brownfields program leveraged 6,447 jobs and $2.14 billion in cleanup and redevelopment funds. Since its inception, the EPA’s brownfields investments have leveraged more than $18.3 billion in cleanup and redevelopment funding from a variety of public and private sources that have resulted in approximately 75,500 jobs. More than 18,000 properties have been assessed, and over 700 properties have been cleaned up. Brownfields grants also target under-served and low income neighborhoods – places where environmental cleanups and new jobs are most needed.

The EPA’s Brownfields Program empowers states, communities, and other stakeholders to work together to prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse brownfields. A brownfield site is real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. In 2002, the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act was passed to help states and communities around the country clean up and revitalize brownfields sites. Under this law, EPA provides financial assistance to eligible applicants through four competitive grant programs: assessment grants, revolving loan fund grants, cleanup grants, and job training grants.

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.

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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