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News Releases from Region 02

EPA Selects Valley Falls, New York Receive a $200,000 Grant to Investigate Contaminated Property

Contact Information: 
Elias Rodriguez (
(212) 637-3664

(New York, N.Y. – May 31, 2017) Valley Falls, New York, was among 172 communities across the country selected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today to receive funding for brownfield site revitalization to help local governments redevelop vacant and unused properties, transforming communities and local economies.

“EPA is committed to working with communities to redevelop Brownfields sites which have plagued their neighborhoods. EPA’s Assessment and Cleanup grants target communities that are economically disadvantaged and include places where environmental cleanup and new jobs are most needed," said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. "These grants leverage considerable infrastructure and other investments, improving local economies and creating an environment where jobs can grow. I am very pleased the President’s budget recognizes the importance of these grants by providing continued funding for this important program.”

The Village of Valley Falls will be receiving $200,000 to assess hazardous substances at the Old Thompson Mill site located at 273 Poplar Street. The site includes a former textile mill, which was active for over 100 years and employed processes such as fabric dyeing and manufacturing until 1992, when the site was abandoned. A major fire in 2009 damaged the remaining buildings. Funds from the grant will be used to inventory, characterize, assess, and conduct planning and community outreach for future cleanup. Following the assessment and cleanup, Valley Falls’ plans for the site include construction of a waterfront recreational park. The village will also possibly reuse certain materials such as bricks and large wooden support beams from the Old Thompson Mill. Because of the sustainable approach of reusing as many of the historic mill materials as possible for the park, the assessment and cleanup phases of the project will directly impact how the future park will be designed and constructed.

Studies have shown that residential property values near brownfields sites that are cleaned up increased between 5% and more than 15%. and can increase property values within 1.24 miles of that site. A study analyzing data near 48 brownfield sites shows that an estimated $29 to $97 million in additional tax revenue was generated for local governments in a single year after cleanup. This is two to seven times more than the $12.4 million EPA contributed to those brownfields.

As of May 2017, more than 124,759 jobs and $24 billion of public and private funding has been leveraged across the country as a result of assessment grants and other EPA Brownfields grants. On average, $16.11 was leveraged for each EPA Brownfields dollar and 8.5 jobs leveraged per $100,000 of EPA brownfields funds expended on assessment, cleanup, and revolving loan fund cooperative agreements.

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