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EPA Issues First “Re-use” Awards for New England Superfund Sites

Release Date: 12/01/2014
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

BOSTON -- EPA has awarded its first-ever “Superfund Excellence in Site Re-use” awards in New England. Awards were presented to the project teams that successfully achieved the installation of solar farms on two federally-listed Superfund sites in Massachusetts, Iron Horse Park in Billerica, and Sullivan’s Ledge in New Bedford. These innovative and forward-thinking redevelopment projects have transformed previously underutilized properties into sources of abundant, clean, renewable energy.

EPA also recognized Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick for his visionary and ambitious agenda to make Massachusetts a national leader in renewable energy production, which has enabled projects such as these to be economically viable.

“For nearly 35 years, EPA has worked to identify and remediate the most contaminated parcels in New England to better protect people’s health and our environment,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “We are very pleased to recognize our first recipients of the EPA New England Superfund “Excellence in Site Re-use Award” for implementing re-use projects on sites in Massachusetts that will benefit local communities for many years to come.”

“All across the country, EPA’s Superfund program is cleaning up sites and returning them to local communities for productive use. Repurposing these sites for renewable energy projects will provide clean energy for New England communities, help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, support economic development opportunities, and help generate local jobs,” said Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response.

The Sullivan’s Ledge project team, including the City of New Bedford, BlueWave Capital, and SunEdison, constructed a 2-megawatt solar power facility on the 12-acre former landfill. The team, worked together to develop a strategy allowing the landfill re-use/development, while ensuring that both previous and ongoing efforts to remediate contamination would not be compromised.

Thanks to the Team’s willingness to explore new ideas and work cooperatively, the Sullivan’s Ledge Superfund Site will no longer lie fallow, but instead serve as both a model for other similar sites and an abundant source of clean, renewable energy.

The Shaffer Landfill is a 60-acre former municipal solid waste landfill located in Billerica, Mass., and is part of the 533-acre Iron Horse Park Superfund Site. The project team, including representatives from the Town of Billerica, Urban Green Technologies Renewable Energy 7 LLC (UGT7), and Capital Dynamics, worked together to construct a 6 megawatt solar power facility on part of the landfill, while ensuring that both previous and ongoing efforts to remediate contamination would not be compromised.

Thanks to the Team’s willingness to explore new ideas and work cooperatively among agencies, responsible parties, and the solar developer, the Shaffer Landfill will no longer lie fallow, but instead serve as both a model for other similar sites and an abundant source of clean, renewable energy.

Finally, EPA New England has recognized Mass. Governor Deval Patrick for his administration’s focus on creating an economic and regulatory environment that has made it possible for solar projects like these to be successful on landfills and other types of contaminated properties with otherwise limited reuse potential. These sites can be well suited for solar arrays because they often have the necessary physical attributes, and the solar panels can be installed and operated so as to be compatible with the cleanup goals for the property.

In 2007, when Governor Patrick came into office, Massachusetts only generated about three megawatts (MWs) of solar power. Governor Patrick set a goal of installing 250 megawatts of solar electricity capacity by 2017. However, within the past seven years, there are now more than 680 MWs of solar power installed across the Commonwealth – enough to provide power for more than 100,000 homes. In fact, with the success of this effort, Massachusetts now has a goal of installing 1,600 megawatts of solar capacity by 2020. Solar installations are also helping the state’s economy, as solar jobs account for an estimated 12,000 people employed in this sector in Massachusetts.

More information:

- Sullivans Ledge Superfund site (http://www.epa.gov/region1/superfund/sites/sullivansledge)

- Iron Horse Park Superfund site (http://www.epa.gov/region1/superfund/sites/ironhorse)

- Siting renewable energy projects on formally contaminated properties http://www.epa.gov/oswercpa/

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