...by Warren Kirshenbaum
As part of $3.5 million in Brownfields grants that EPA is making available for Massachusetts communities, EPA has provided $600,000 for Somerville to clean up the former Kiley Barrel Property site. The funding is part of more than $76 million in EPA Brownfields investments across the country announced this week by EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to protect health and the environment, create jobs and promote economic re-development in American communities.
EPA Brownfields grant money assists work to reclaim sites including old textile mills, sites containing hazardous substances and petroleum products and other abandoned industrial and commercial properties. EPA’s Brownfields program encourages redevelopment of America’s estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites.
“This EPA funding will help strengthen the economic foundation of these communities,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA New England’s office. “Cleaning and revitalizing contaminated sites helps create jobs, providing a solid foundation for a community to create new businesses and neighborhood centers, while making our environment cleaner and the community healthier.”
"These federal funds will help transform the Kiley Barrel site, eliminating old contaminants and revitalizing it so that the land can be used for future development. Brownfields grants have had a tremendous impact here in Somerville and all over the country, giving communities the resources they need to revitalize old industrial sites," stated Congressman Michael Capuano.
The $12.55 million in grant and Revolving Loan Fund money awarded by EPA to a variety of New England communities and organization will provide substantial help around the region. The EPA funding leverages over $46 million of other money to pursue brownfields cleanup and revitalization work. In New England, these projects have created 98 clean up jobs this year as well as 135 redevelopment jobs.
As of June 2011, EPA’s brownfields assistance has leveraged more than $16.3 billion in cleanup and redevelopment funding, and helped create more than 70,000 jobs in 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.
Since the beginning of the Brownfields Program, in New England alone EPA has awarded 268 assessment grants totaling $67.1 million, 61 revolving loan fund grants and supplemental funding totaling $65 million and 174 cleanup grants totaling $39.3 million. These grant funds have paved the way for more than $1.3 billion in public and private cleanup and redevelopment investment and for 8815 jobs in assessment, cleanup, construction and redevelopment.
Some of the money announced today falls under EPA’s brownfields revolving loan funding. Since 1995, EPA RLF recipients have provided 53 loans and 63 grants in New England totaling more than $29 million for brownfields cleanup. The loan funds have paved the way for more than $189 million in public and private cleanup and redevelopment investment and for 1034 jobs in cleanup, construction and redevelopment.