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EPA Awards $1.9 Million to Cleanup and Revitalize Connecticut Communities

Release Date: 06/08/2011
Contact Information: EPA Public Affairs, (617) 918-1010

(Boston, Mass. – June 8, 2011) – EPA is providing $1.9 million in Brownfields grants will help Connecticut communities to assess, cleanup and redevelop abandoned or contaminated properties.  The funding is part of more than $76 million in EPA brownfields investments across the country announced this week by EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to protect health and the environment, create jobs and promote economic re-development in American communities.

The grant money will 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.

In Connecticut, EPA is providing Brownfields grants to the following municipalities and groups:
• New Opportunities Economic Development Corp., Waterbury, $600,000 (3 cleanup grants, Cherry Street parcels)
• Police Activity League of Waterbury, Inc., Waterbury, $400,000 (2 cleanup grants, Division Street parcels)
• City of Stratford, $400,000 (community-wide assessment grant)
• Valley Council of Governments, $500,000 (community-wide revolving loan fund supplemental funding)

“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.”

Congressman Chris Murphy said, “Cleaning up brownfields is one of the best investments the federal government can make in a community.  It not only improves the environment, it strengthens our economy, as blight is removed and new facilities are created for recreation, job growth and small business.  Today's EPA grants are an investment in Connecticut's communities.”

"Brownfields have had a serious environmental and economic impact in Connecticut, and these funds will help to bring new life to communities that have suffered. Cleaning these sites up will help to improve local citizens’ quality of life, encourage economic growth, and foster the revitalization of neighborhoods and cities," said Congresswoman Rosa L. DeLauro. "I look forward to seeing these areas progress, and to a cleaner and healthier Connecticut."

DEP Commissioner Daniel C. Esty said, "EPA has been a strong partner with DEP in focusing on the cleanup of abandoned and contaminated sites and we appreciate their continue support.  The grants being awarded today will allow for important cleanup work to be done that will help revitalize Connecticut communities and rebuild our economy."

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.

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.

Some of the money announced today 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.

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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