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EPA Awards $2.7 Million of Brownfields Funding to Massachusetts; Grants to Boston and Mystic Valley Among $75.4 Million Awarded Nationally

Release Date: 06/15/04
Contact Information: Contact: Peyton Fleming, EPA Press Office, (617) 918-1008

For Immediate Release: June 15, 2004; Release # 04-06-15

BOSTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced it is awarding 15 grants totaling more than $2.7 million to Massachusetts communities and regional councils to help assess, clean and redevelop abandoned, contaminated parcels known as Brownfields. The funding is among $75.4 million of Brownfields grants announced today by EPA Administrator Mike Leavitt, including $8.6 million to New England alone. It is the largest Brownfields funding announcement in the agency's history.

"These grants will help spur the cleanup of abandoned, contaminated parcels all across New England, including many in Boston and other parts of eastern Massachusetts," said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA's New England Office.

Nearly $1 million of funds are being awarded to the following Boston-area groups:

    • $200,000, Boston Redevelopment Authority, cleanup of city-owned Belle Isle Coastal Preserve in city's Roxbury neighborhood
    • $337,000, City of Boston, site assessments of multiple properties, including former Lewis Chemical Corp. property in Hyde Park, former Star Brush Manufacturing site at 700 Harrison Ave. and former Baldeo's gas station site in Dorchester
    • $200,000, Mystic Valley Development Commission, cleanup of the former Paonessa site in Medford as part of Malden River Park
    • $200,000, Mystic Valley Development Commission, cleanup of the former Kazanjian property in Medford as part of Malden River Park
EPA's 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.

The funding for this and other projects is a direct result of Brownfields legislation signed by President Bush in 2002. In addition to making more sites eligible for cleanup, including petroleum contaminated parcels, the legislation greatly increased funding to assist nonprofit groups, municipalities, regional agencies and states in various tasks associated with restoring and revitalizing Brownfields properties, of which there are thousands across New England. The law authorizes up to $250 million in funds annually for Brownfield grants, including up to $50 million for assessment and cleanup of low-risk petroleum contaminated sites.

Since 1995, EPA has provided more than $91 million for grants, site evaluations, job training and cleanup loan programs to dozens of communities and agencies across New England, including more than $11.2 million to Rhode Island. 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.

The Brownfields program reflects a new model in environmental protection which is locally-based, forges strong public-private partnerships and promotes innovation and creativity. The program relies on market incentives and private sector actions to restore blighted properties. This approach empowers state and local environmental and redevelopment officials to oversee Brownfields activities, ensuring that local solutions are created to solve local problems.

EPA seeks to ensure that all citizens enjoy the benefits of a healthy environment and better quality of life, and that no community or neighborhood bares a heavier burden of environmental risks that may impact their health.

For more information, visit the following agency web sites at www.epa.gov/NE/brownfields and www.epa.gov/ne/ra/sprawl.

Other recipients of Brownfields grants in Massachusetts
    • $200,000, City of New Bedford, cleanup of the former Reliable Truss site at 246 River Road. The waterfront parcel has been vacant since 2001.
    • $159,500, City of Brockton, cleanup of the former Montello Auto Body property at 166 East Ashland St. The city is planning to redevelop the site into a multi-use sports complex.
    • $200,000, City of Attleboro, assessment of petroleum-contaminated parcel at 6-17 Hazel St., a site used previously for jewelry manufacturing.
    • $173,583, Town of Marborough, cleanup of the former Frye boot factory site, a key parcel in redeveloping Middleborough's in-town neighborhoods.
    • $200,000, Norfolk County, site assessments in Wrentham and Franklin
    • $200,000, Montachusett Regional Planning Commission, site assessments
    • $125,000, Town of Greenfield, cleanup of former Food and Fuel gas station site at 270 Deerfield St. The site is located in a low-income neighborhood.
    • $100,000, Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, develop inventory map and prioritize hazardous- and petroleum-contaminated parcels in the 32-community region.
    • $200,000, Franklin Regional Council of Governments, site assessments of former Buckland Railyard in Shelburne Falls, former Conway garage on Main Street in Conway and former Lake Asphault plant in Deerfield.
    • $150,000, Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, site assessments of former Farm Equipment company site and a portion of the Ware Millyard, both in Ware, as well as the former Middlefield General Store at 168 Skyline Drive in Middlefield.
    • $100,000, Town of Montague, site assessment work
Related Information:
NE Brownfields Web site
Smart Growth
NE Brownfields Success Stories