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Fitchburg, Mass. Receives $150,500 Brownfields Grant

Release Date: 07/30/2008
Contact Information: Jeanethe Falvey, (617) 918-1020

(Boston, Mass. – July 30, 2008) - The U.S. EPA has awarded the Town of Fitchburg a $150,500 Brownfield’s cleanup grant. Brownfields grants aid communities in the process of revitalizing former industrial and commercial sites, transforming them into green-space and turning them back into community assets.

Through a competitive national selection process, EPA awards Brownfields grants to help pay for the assessment, cleanup and redevelopment of abandoned contaminated parcels - ‘brownfields’. Often these parcels are abandoned or not dealt with because they are too expensive or risky for a community to address or invest in with the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substances or pollutants.

"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. "What were once perhaps dangerous or unsightly areas, will now become a source of revenue as they provide for skilled jobs, greater real estate potential and a cleaner environment.”

The grant funding for the town of Fitchburg will help cleanup the two-acre Central Steam Plant facility located at 465 Westminster Street. Built in 1928, the plant provided steam and electricity to several paper mills along the North Nashua River. Metals and various other inorganic materials are present in site soil and groundwater.

Mayor of Fitchburg Lisa Wong remarked, “Fitchburg is excited about the opportunity to address the ongoing concern of asbestos abatement at its former Central Steam Plant and views this work as an important first step in the redevelopment of this industrially zoned site. Clean up of this property will allow the development and re-use of the building. The clean up around the building will enhance recreational use of the area along this portion of the Nashua River and is a continuation of Fitchburg's efforts for a cleaner river.”

EPA's Brownfields program promotes redevelopment of America's estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites. Municipalities and select organizations can also receive funding for cleanup grants and to establish revolving loan programs that provide low interest loans for cleanups.

In addition to industrial and commercial redevelopment, Brownfields projects have converted industrial waterfronts to riverfront parks, rail corridors to recreational trails, landfills to golf courses and gas stations to housing.

For more information:
- Brownfields in New England (epa.gov/region1/brownfields)
-
National information on Brownfields (epa.gov/brownfields)

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