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Eleven Brownfields Grants Totaling $3 Million Awarded in Vermont - Part of Nearly $70 Million Funded Nationwide

Release Date: 05/12/2006
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. – May 12, 2006) - Eleven grants totaling $3 million were awarded today by EPA to Vermont communities to help revitalize former industrial and commercial sites, transforming them from problem properties into community assets.

The funding will help pay to assess, clean and redevelop abandoned, contaminated parcels known as Brownfields. The funding is among $69.9 million of Brownfields grants announced today by EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson, including almost $11 million within New England alone. Brownfields are sites where suspected contaminants may be impeding revitalization.

"Brownfields grants help pave the way for life and vitality to return to areas of urban blight by leveraging jobs and economic reuse of properties, along with increasing the acres of greenspace and public access,” said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA's New England regional office. "These funds will directly improve the quality of life in Vermont’s communities that are working to redevelop and put to good use abandoned, contaminated parcels."

In Vermont, Brownfields grants to conduct community-wide site assessments were made to:

Addison County Regional Planning Commission - $200,000
Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission - $400,000 (two grants)
Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission - $200,000
Northeastern Vermont Development Association - $200,000
Northwest Regional Planning Commission - $200,000
Rutland Regional Planning Commission - $200,000
Southern Windsor County Regional Planning Commission - $200,000
Windham Regional Commission - $400,000 (two grants)

EPA also issued Vermont a “Revolving Loan Fund” grant to create a funding source for low-interest loans to property owners undertaking Brownfield cleanups:

Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development - $1,000,000

Since 1994, EPA has provided over $130 million in grants and other funding for site evaluations, job training and cleanup loan programs to dozens of communities and agencies in New England, including more than $10 million in Vermont. EPA estimates that every acre of reclaimed Brownfields saves 4.5 acres of greenspace and every greenspace created, on average, has doubled the value of surrounding properties.

EPA's Brownfields program promotes redevelopment of America's estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites. Since its inception, the Brownfields program has awarded 883 assessment grants totaling over $225 million nationwide, 202 revolving loan fund grants worth more than $186.7 million, and $42.7 million for 238 cleanup grants.

Brownfields funds help communities assess contamination at abandoned and vacant sites and estimate the costs of cleaning up sites for redevelopment. Municipalities and select organizations can also receive funding for cleanup grants and to establish revolving loan programs that provide low interest loans for cleanups.

Legislation authorizing Brownfields was signed by President Bush in 2002, significantly boosting money available for restoring and revitalizing Brownfields properties, including thousands across New England.

In addition to industrial and commercial redevelopment, Brownfields projects have converted industrial waterfronts to riverfront parks, rail corridors to recreational trails, and gas station sites to housing. EPA's Brownfields assistance has led to more than $8.2 billion in private investment in cleanup and redevelopment, helped create more than 37,525 jobs and resulted in the assessment of more than 8,374 properties.

For more information, visit the following EPA Web sites:

Brownfields in New England: http://www.epa.gov/NE/brownfields

National information on Brownfields: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields

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