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Lowell, Mass. Receives $150,000 EPA Brownfields Grant
Release Date: 07/29/2008
Contact Information: Paula Ballentine, (617) 918-1027
(Boston – July 29, 2008) - Lowell, Mass. has been awarded a $150,000 brownfields grant to clean up contaminated soil at 86 Fay Street. This funding is in addition to $400,000 awarded to the city in June of 2008 for brownfields assessment activities.
“EPA’s Brownfields program has had incredible success helping New England communities revitalize overlooked and abandoned properties,” said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA’s New England regional office. “This grant is another step towards revitalization of Lowell’s neighborhoods, planting more seeds for environmental and economic success in the city.”
Cleanup of the Fay Street site will remove contaminated soil from a vacant lot next to a baseball field and elementary school in the city’s South Lowell neighborhood. Once the site is cleaned up, the city plans to reuse it as a park.
"We're obviously very pleased to once again receive grant funds through the EPA Brownfields program,” said Bernie Lynch, Lowell’s City Manager. “The partnership that we have with the EPA in using this grant program over the past few years is crucial to a city like Lowell as we work to take difficult parcels and work to enable their development. In the end this type of transformation is essential as we work to encourage investment that will produce jobs and enhance the City's prosperity."
The City of Lowell became a prominent economic center during the Industrial Revolution and continued to grow into the 20th Century. Following World War I, the city experienced a decline in manufacturing which made many businesses close or relocate to other cities based on the lack of suitable expansion sites. These closures and relocation have cost the city nearly 20,000 jobs and left numerous abandoned industrial structures. Today, Lowell is a federally designated Renewal Community.
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.