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Waste Site Cleanup & Reuse in New England

TeleCom City®

This Success Story was completed before the signing of the 2002 Brownfields Legislation. The Assessment Demonstration Pilot Program is now called the Assessment Grant Program.

Success In Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund Program
Mystic Valley Development Commission
Partnership between the cities of Medford, Malden, and Everett, MA

(May 16, 2002)
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Photo of Telecom City Road Construction Sign  

On October 16, 2001 an intra-governmental loan of $225,000 was made by the Mystic Valley Development Commission (MVDC) to facilitate a non-time critical removal action at the 138,000 square foot former Solvent Chemical site located on Lower Commercial Street in Malden, MA within the MVDC's TeleCom City® project boundary. This will curtail groundwater contamination of dichlorobenzene leaching into the Malden River and facilitate the reconstruction of Commercial Street as a "gateway" to the property.

In 1998, the MVDC was awarded $200,000 by the EPA Assessment Demonstration Pilot Program. In May 1999, EPA awarded the MVDC $500,000 as a Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund (BCRLF) program. In October 2000, the MVDC was awarded National Brownfields Showcase Community designation, additional $200,000 in assessment funding, and technical assistance. In October 2001, the MVDC made its first loan, an intra-governmental loan, within the TeleCom City® project. It received an additional award of $500,000 in supplemental funding for its BCRLF from EPA. This award brings EPA's Brownfields funding commitment to MVDC to a total of $1.6 million.

The MVDC represents the cities of Everett, Malden and Medford, Massachusetts. The three communities have a population of approximately 142,000 and are located in the inner suburban loop of Boston, five miles north of the city. The three cities have demonstrated unprecedented cooperation to combine resources and collaboratively pursue redevelopment solutions to revitalize their industrial and commercial economic base. The MVDC is focusing brownfields activities on the TeleCom City® project. The TeleCom City® project is the ambitious redevelopment of 207-acres of former industrial property spanning the heavily urbanized communities of Malden, Medford, and Everett along the polluted and underutilized Malden River. The goal is to turn TeleCom City® into a center for the commonwealth's telecommunications industry. When complete, TeleCom City® will be a complex consisting of 1.8 million square feet of office, research and development, and manufacturing space as well as a riverfront park and open space for local residents.

The MVDC serves as the lead agency for the BCRLF program and is responsible for ensuring that environmental cleanups conducted with funding from the BCRLF are done in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations and that the BCRLF funds are used for authorized purposes. The Malden Redevelopment Authority, as Project Manager of the TeleCom City® project, has been designated by the MVDC to be the Brownfields Site Manager and the Fund Manager of the MVDC's BCRLF.

The loan is an intra-governmental loan, the reimbursable transfer of BCRLF loan funds within the same government, and is eligible for a loan discount of 20% of the loan amount. The discounted principal is $180,000. The interest rate for the loan will be 5%. A repayment schedule of the discounted principal and accrued interest was established based on 10 annual payments starting October 2003. The source of repayment was established as the net proceeds of a lease to be negotiated between MRA and the city of Malden for the Public Works Way property. The lease payments and underling property were pledged to the MVDC and, in turn, were the collateral for the loan. The final maturity of the loan will not exceed ten years from October 2002.

The former Solvent Chemical site currently occupied by a roadway, a produce market, a Department of Public Works (DPW) facility, and other local businesses. The local businesses and DPW yard will remain during and following the removal action. A pool of dichlorobenzene sits approximately 30 feet underground, with the highest concentration of contaminants under Commercial Street between the produce market and the Malden DPW facility. Contamination on the site is believed to be from the manufacturing of dichlorobenzene, among other chemicals. This contamination is leaching into the groundwater and contaminating the Malden River. MVDC intends to install a treatment system to extract the pool of chemicals in order to eliminate this source. The BCRLF will pay for the construction, operation, and maintenance of the treatment system for 1 year, after which MVDC will pay for additional operation and maintenance as needed.

EPA New England Success Story: Showcase Community - TeleCom City®

EPA HQ Fact Sheet:

BCRLF - TeleCom City®

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