Waste Site Cleanup & Reuse in New England
Former Whitney Screw Property
Success in Brownfields Assessment Demonstration
Pilot and Revolving Loan Fund Pilot Project Programs
New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services and the Nashua, NH
From the Air
The former Whitney Screw Company
Hill, owner of Goodale's
Bike in Nashua, NH.
Successful Partnerships Make for a Successful Brownfields Program
The first loan agreement under the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services' (NH DES) Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund (BCRLF) program was signed on January 17, 2002 by developers Peter Smith and Dean Jackson, of Smith Jackson, LLC. This $189,000 loan will assist with cleanup costs for the former Whitney Screw site in Nashua, NH. The redevelopment will provide expanded facilities for a local business, Goodale's Bike, and additional office space.
This success is the outcome of the cooperation and commitment of the U.S. EPA's Brownfields Program; the city of Nashua's Brownfields Assessment Demonstration Pilot; several programs within NH DES, including Brownfields, Ustfields, the Oil Pollution Control Fund Tank Removal Program, and the New Hampshire Petroleum Reimbursement Fund program; and Smith Jackson, LLC. The strength and credibility of the partnerships resulted in approximately $2,000,000 of leveraged private investments by the developers. This is a great example of coordinated use of the Brownfields Assessment Demonstration Pilot Program, the Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund, and other important state-agency brownfields tools to transition an abandoned, contaminated property to productive reuse. More information on timeline >>
Nashua, New Hampshire and It's Brownfields History
Nashua, New Hampshire has a diverse population. The city (population 86,605) has an 11% minority population compared to 6% in Hillsborough County and 4% statewide (New Hampshire Office of State Planning (NH OSP) statistics, 2000.) Nashua also has a low unemployment rate of 2.9% for 2000, compared to the national rate of 4.0% (Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.)
Nashua has a strong record of addressing Brownfields site issues. The city initiated the Broad Street Redevelopment Corridor (BSRC) Initiative, comprised of 95 acres near a $36.5 million major new arterial street that will connect the primary highway in the area to the downtown. The new road will provide access and visibility to a number of older, contaminated industrial properties, including the former Whitney Screw property. The new road is expected to improve the economic viability and redevelopment potential of the area. In 1999, the city applied for and received $200,000 to fund a Brownfields Assessment Demonstration Pilot to prioritize and conduct assessments of sites within the BSRC.
Also in 1999, the NH DES BCRLF, in coalition with the NH OSP, the city of Concord, and the towns of Durham and Londonderry, was established through a cooperative agreement with the EPA. The original award from EPA to NH DES was $1,450,000. In December 2000, the New Hampshiret of Bradford, Greenfield and Newport joined the coalition to request additional funds. In September 2001, the NH DES BCRLF received an additional $1,000,000 from EPA, bringing the total capitalization to $2,450,000.
Whitney Screw Site Background
The 5.4-acre former Whitney Screw site, at 14A and 14B Broad Street abuts a mix of residential properties and businesses to the north, east, and west; an active rail corridor to the south. The area is home to approximately 6.3% of the city's population. Historical use of the property involved a variety of industrial activities under a series of ownerships beginning in the early 1900s. Whitney Screw's plating room operations ceased in April 1985. Currently, a one-story warehouse complex (89,610 square feet) consisting of 12 attached structures spans the site.
On June 28, 1995, all leases and rents were assigned to the Bank of New Hampshire while Whitney Screw remained the record title owner. Whitney Screw was involuntarily dissolved by the Secretary of State on November 3, 1997. As of December 2000, property taxes had not been paid in 8 years, with back taxes and penalties totaling $350,000.
The Assessment Demonstration Pilot Phase
As part of their Brownfields Assessment Demonstration Pilot, the city hired GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc. (GZA) to conduct a Brownfields Site Investigation from April to July 2001. After completing the site investigations, GZA developed two Remedial Action Plans (RAP) in September 2001 which documented findings and recommendations. The RAPs recommended the following sources be remediated:
- 14A Broad Street
- Lead-contaminated soil and peeling lead paint on exterior wall of Building 1A;
- Petroleum-soaked wood flooring in Machine Shop;
- Petroleum-soaked wood boxes;
- Petroleum-contaminated soil under portion of Machine Shop;
- Potential asbestos-containing building material (ACBMs) in buildings to be demolished/renovated.
- 14B Broad Street
- Asbestos-containing insulation on three exterior pipes;
- Cadmium in soil near Building Number 11;
- Asbestos in soil near Building 8;
- Potential ACBMs in buildings to be demolished/renovated.
The estimated cost for remediation to meet state and federal standards for non-residential use was $360,681. To date, the city of Nashua has spent $123,553 of its Brownfields Assessment Demonstration Pilot funds on completing the site investigation and developing the RAPs for the site.
The Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund Phase
As a result of the original owner defaulting on the mortgage loan, Smith Jackson, LLC purchased the option for the mortgage from the Bank of New Hampshire in the fall of 2001 and then received approval from the Nashua Planning Board to subdivide the property into two lots, 14A and 14B. Having secured ownership in the property, Smith Jackson, LLC. then applied for a loan to defray from the cleanup costs. On January 17, 2002, Smith Jackson, LLC borrowed $189,000 from the NH DES BCRLF for eligible cleanup costs. The payback period will be 12 months at an interest rate of 3%.
With respect to the BCRLF administration, NH DES is acting as the Lead Agency under the National Oil Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP), as the Brownfields Site Manager to oversee the cleanup, and as Fund Manager (with the assistance of the New Hampshire Department of Treasury and the New Hampshire Business Finance Authority) to handle the financial aspects of the loan. As part of the terms of the loan, NH DES also agreed to provide the developer with Direct Financial Assistance to cover some of the costs associated with compliance with the NCP. To date, NH DES has spent $4,219 for GZA to prepare an EE/CA, develop a Community Relations Plan, and to generate a Quality Assurance Project Plan as Direct Financial Assistance (DFA) under the BCRLF. NHDES anticipates an additional $4,834 to be spent on post-excavation sampling and analysis at the site (also as BCRLF DFA).
Smith Jackson, LLC plans to spend an additional $2,000,000 on improvements to demolish approximately 20,000 square feet of the existing warehouse complex and to renovate approximately 50,280 square feet of building space to house new tenants. Smith Jackson, LLC signed a purchase and lease agreement with Goodale's Bike, New Englands's largest bicycle dealer, in business since 1919. They have been at their downtown location for the past 31 years. They will combine and relocate their 3 separate Nashua facilities to the renovated building. There they will have approximately 12,200 square feet of retail and showroom space, as well expanded service and storage areas.
Other Funding and Tools
In addition to receiving a BCRLF Loan, Smith Jackson, LLC also utilized other tools and incentives available to developers working on brownfields in New Hampshire. First, in the fall of 2001, Smith Jackson, LLC applied for an eligibility determination to participate in the New Hampshire Brownfields Covenant Program, a program designed to provide incentives for both environmental cleanup and redevelopment by persons who did not cause the contamination. This is accomplished under a process by which eligible persons can obtain a "Covenant Not to Sue" from the N.H. Department of Justice (DOJ) and a "Certificate of Completion" from the NH DES when investigations and cleanups are performed in accordance with NH DES cleanup requirements. Following an application review, on October 31, 2001 the NH DOJ determined eligibility to participate in the program. Smith Jackson, LLC agreed to provide a Remedial Action Plan in exchange for liability protections provided by the program.
Second, Smith Jackson, LLC was also able to secure an additional $19,164 from the NHDES Ustfields Pilot and the Oil Pollution Control Fund Tank Removal Program was for the removal of four underground storage tanks and numerous fuel-containing drums that were identified by GZA as part of the Brownfields Site Investigation. Removal of the tanks has made the site eligible for up to $1,500,000 from the New Hampshire Petroleum Reimbursement Funds for the removal of floating petroleum product and the associated groundwater contamination.