Vermont to receive nearly $1.5 million in EPA brownfields grants
The EPA announced Thursday that Vermont is the recipient of nearly $1.5 million in EPA brownfields grants. The funds will go to six separate entities and are a combination of assessment, cleanup and revolving loan fund (RLF) grants, including in Rutland, Springfield, Weathersfield and Bellows Falls.
The Rutland Regional Planning Commission is the recipient of a $200,000 assessment grant that will help assist cities and towns throughout southwestern Vermont. Rutland RPC has been a brownfields grantee since 2003, and with today’s award, they will have received 1.6 Million dollars in Brownfields funding.
The next two grantees are nonprofit organizations receiving $200,000 a piece in cleanup grants. The Springfield Regional Development Corporation will use their funds to to remediate environmental contamination at the former Jones & Lamson Plant 1 site. This funding is being combined with two additional cleanup subgrants funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
These subgrants, funded by the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development and the Southern Windsor County Regional Planning Commission, bring the total brownfields cleanup funding leveraged for this project to over $775,000. The Bellows Falls Historical Society is the second grantee to receive the $200,000 cleanup grant. They plan to use these funds to continue their efforts toward completing the Bellows Falls Historic Riverfront Park and Trail System. This is the second clean grant the Historical Society has received, and funding from the grant will go towards Phase II of this environmental cleanup and restoration project.
Lastly are two grantees receiving supplemental funding for their on-going Revolving Loan Fund programs.The Southern Windsor County Regional Planning Commission is receiving $400,000 in supplemental funding, bringing their Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund grant to nearly 1.8 Million dollars.
The additional funding will continue to go towards cleanup and redevelopment projects in their region, including sites such as the former Perkinsville School in Weathersfield VT.
In addition, the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development is receiving $450,000 in supplemental funding to bring their Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund grant to $2,450,000. This funding will continue to go towards cleanup and redevelopment projects throughout Vermont, including sites such as the Prospect Street Redevelopment project in White River Junction.
“The funding made available from EPA will allow us to continue to redevelop contaminated sites in Vermont,” Governor Peter Shumlin said. “These awards will help Vermont communities return brownfield properties to a productive use and will allow for greater economic development opportunities.”
The goal of EPA Brownfields grants is to lead to the clean up & sustainable redevelopment of Brownfields sites, thus improving the economy and quality of life in American communities.The funding is part of more than $17 million in EPA Brownfields investments across the six New England states announced by EPA in 2012.
“EPA Brownfields funding helps strengthen the economic foundation and is a catalyst for further growth in our communities,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA New England’s office. “Cleaning and revitalizing contaminated sites helps create jobs, and can help a community to create new businesses and neighborhood centers, while making our environment cleaner and the community healthier.”
Since the beginning of EPA’s Brownfields Program, in New England alone EPA has awarded 296 assessment grants totaling $72.7 million, 62 revolving loan fund grants and supplemental funding totaling $68.4 million and 213 cleanup grants totaling $47 million. These grant funds have paved the way for more than $1.45 billion in public and private cleanup and redevelopment investment and for 9,756 jobs in assessment, cleanup, construction and redevelopment on over 2200 sites across New England.
Nationally, the figures are impressive: As of August 2012, EPA’s Brownfields assistance has leveraged more than $18.3 billion in cleanup and redevelopment funding from a variety of public and private sources and helped create approximately 76,500 jobs. More than 18,500 properties have been assessed, and over 750 properties have been cleaned up. These investments and jobs target local, under-served and economically disadvantaged neighborhoods – places where environmental cleanups and new jobs are most needed.
Source: EPA. (Boston, Mass. – September 13, 2012) – More Information on EPA’s Brownfields program in New England: http://epa.gov/region1/brownfields/index.html