Brownfield funding benefits communities by helping cleanups & assessment of sites
EPA is pleased to announce that the City of Lawrence, Mass. has been recommended for a $200,000 award under EPA’s Targeted Brownfields Assessment grant competition. EPA has also recommended that the Merrimack Valley Workforce Investment Board be awarded $192,300 for its established Environmental Workforce Training Program. The awards will be made upon successful completion of the award application process.
Once finalized, the $392,300 in Brownfields grants will help Lawrence to assess, cleanup and redevelop abandoned or contaminated properties, as well as providing funding to train 45 individuals in skills necessary for this work. The funding is part of $10.3 million in EPA Brownfields investments across New England in 2015 protect health and the environment, create jobs and promote economic re-development in communities.
“EPA is proud to further assist Lawrence and its citizens with this Brownfield funding. Cleaning and revitalizing contaminated sites helps create jobs, and can be the catalyst to create new businesses or neighborhood centers, all while making our environment cleaner and the community healthier,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA New England’s office. “This is just one way EPA works to make a difference in communities all across Massachusetts and New England.”
“Using federal funds to partner with local communities to create jobs and address public needs puts us on a solid path to help strengthen our economy,” said Congresswoman Niki Tsongas. “The investment in the Merrimack Valley Workforce Investment Board will have ongoing reverberations for the region — they will train and employ more than 75 individuals. At the same time, they will be aiding the revitalization and protection of our communities. This is a big win for the local economy and environment, which is compounded by the additional EPA Targeted Brownfields Assistance. Many cities in the Commonwealth are often dotted with blighted landscapes at former industrial or infrastructure sites that hinder economic revitalization, hurt community pride, and are potential environmental hazards. The Brownfields assistance will be used by Lawrence to further the redevelopment and beautification of the city. This is just another example of how Lawrence is turning a corner and highlights the potential that exists here.”
“The City of Lawrence continues to be humbled by the support we have received from the EPA,” said Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera. “Both of these awards give the city and its residents real hope for the future. The targeted Brownfield Funds will allow us to complete the required assessments that will give the development community confidence to invest. The training funds will give our residents much needed access to high level training programs which we feel is required to lower our unemployment rate.”
In New England, since the beginning of the Brownfields program, EPA has awarded 334 assessment grants totaling $97 million, 68 revolving loan fund grants and supplemental funding totaling $85.2 million and 241 cleanup grants totaling $64.5 million. These grant funds have paved the way for more than $2.5 billion in public and private cleanup and redevelopment investment and for nearly 14,458 jobs in assessment, cleanup, construction and redevelopment. These investments and jobs target local, under-served and economically disadvantaged neighborhoods — places where environmental cleanups and new jobs are most needed.
EPA’s Brownfields program encourages redevelopment of America’s estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites.
More Information: EPA Brownfields program in New England: http://epa.gov/regionl/brownfields/index.html