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EPA Announces $600,000 to Assist Lawrence/Merrimack Valley Planning Commission in Cleanup and Redevelopment Work

Release Date: 06/13/2012
Contact Information: Paula Ballentine, 617-918-1027

(Boston, Mass. – June 13, 2012) – EPA is providing the City of Lawrence with $400,000 in brownfields funding to assess properties contaminated by hazardous substances as well as petroleum contamination.  This funding will allow the city to weave brownfields sites into its comprehensive goals to revitalize itself.  

Additionally, the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission (MVPC), in partnership with 15 communities, is receiving $200,000 to assess properties contaminated with hazardous substances throughout the Merrimack Valley.  This money will aid the healthy expansion and diversification of the communities’/region’s economic base, create new job opportunities, much needed affordable housing, and more vibrant, livable downtowns and neighborhoods.

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.”

“This share of federal funding will help Lawrence and other communities in the Merrimack Valley identify contaminated sites and plan for their eventual clean-up and reuse,” said Congresswoman Niki Tsongas. “These types of grants have helped to turn previously blighted sites into parks, development projects, and have funded other priorities that contribute to the health of our cities.”

“We are grateful for our continued partnership with the EPA and our federal delegation as we look to foster our economic redevelopment in our historic City of Lawrence.  By working together we will be able to provide a healthier community for our residents creating new jobs along the way,” stated Mayor William Lantigua. 

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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