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Waste Site Cleanup & Reuse in New England

City of New Bedford, MA

Success in EPA-Conducted Targeted Brownfields Assessments
July 25, 2001

Aerial View Before Redevelopment

Standard Times Field

During Construction

Standard Times Field

In 1999 a $61,000 EPA-Conducted Targeted Brownfields Assessment (TBA) was completed for a 25.5 acre site immediately adjacent to the Acushnet River in the City of New Bedford, MA. A nationally recognized Brownfields Showcase Community, the City of New Bedford worked with Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection to identify over 40 potential redevelopment sites throughout the city. In 1998, the New Bedford Redevelopment Authority acquired the site, also know as the Standard Times Field site, and targeted it for redevelopment as a 10 lot industrial subdivision.

The site was occupied by a textile mill between the 1880's and the 1930's. Mill operations ceased, the buildings were demolished by 1935, and the site has remained largely unoccupied and unused since. The site is located south of New Bedford's South Terminal, an area in which many fish processing facilities are located. Due to its location, it is considered prime industrial land and the New Bedford City Council voted to extend the "Working Waterfront Overlay District" to include the site and to encourage development.

Although environmental assessments conducted in the early 1990's did not reveal widespread contamination, the city chose to reassess the property to provide up-to-date information to prospective buyers. The EPA-Conducted TBA revealed some localized contamination issues, such as the presence of a large underground storage tank with surrounding soils contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons, a layer of coal 1 to 2 feet below the soil surface in an area suspected of being a former coal bin, and some asbestos associated with building debris. Soil throughout the site contained hydrocarbons, PAH's, pesticides, PCB's, and metals. There were elevated levels of PCB's in the groundwater on one lot and of heavy metals on a few lots.

The City created 10 lots for an industrial subdivision at the site. The Massachusetts Executive Office of Transportation and Construction provided $341,500 in funding for the design, engineering and construction of the subdivision roadway. The Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development provided a $168,00 grant for the design and construction of utilities. The City and the New Bedford Redevelopment Authority have aggressively marketed the parcels at the site, using site assessment data from both the TBA and more detailed assessment activities conducted under the City's Brownfields Pilot program. To date, four lots have been sold at an average cost of $125,000 per acre. Construction is underway at three of the parcels, resulting in a total private investment of over $1.5 million in construction costs. It is expected that over 350 jobs will be created once construction is complete.

EPA Fact Sheet: Brownfields Showcase Community - New Bedford, MA

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