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Release Date: 07/13/2000
Contact Information: Alice Kaufman, EPA Community Affairs Office, (617) 918-1064

Boston - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that Stratford, Conn., is in line to receive a federal grant of $100,000 to help the community plan for the productive use of the Raymark Superfund site. Stratford is among eight communities in New England in line to receive a total of $748,000.

Stratford will use the EPA funds to assess the reuse potential of contaminated parcels of land that are part of the Raymark Superfund site. Other parcels in the town's planned revitalization area include a proposed theatre/entertainment district and a retail center. Stratford will also use this grant to help decide the best cleanup alternatives for the remaining Raymark site parcels.

"Across New England, we are demonstrating that through ingenuity and common sense we can expand the economy while cleaning and preserving our natural resources," said Mindy Lubber, regional administrator for EPA New England. "The redevelopment initiative is an aggressive planning tool that encourages communities to decide on the future use of abandoned and contaminated properties."

"This grant is another example of the EPA's constructive efforts to help communities like Stratford transform environmental liabilities into economic assets," said Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman. "It will give a real boost to Stratford's work to redevelop the Raymark site and make it a productive property."

"The Raymark site doesn't need band-aids, it need major reconstructive surgery - and thankfully that's exactly what this assistance can help provide," said Sen. Christopher J. Dodd. "It helps do away with old and dangerous materials on the Raymark site, and hopefully in its place, begins to lay a foundation for economic renewal."

"This grant will be a tremendous help to the town of Stratford," said U.S. Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro. "The funds will allow the town to ensure the health and safety of its residents, while also expanding economic opportunities."

The Raymark Industries site is a 34-acre industrial property where for 70 years the company and its predecessors manufactured brakes, clutch parts, and other friction products. Raymark disposed of its manufacturing waste as fill at its 75 East Main St. location, and 46 residential properties, as well as numerous other commercial and municipal properties in Stratford. In addition, several wetland areas close to the Housatonic River were also filled in with Raymark's contaminated waste which consisted of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxin, semi-volatile and volatile organic compounds, asbestos, and metals. In April 1995, EPA added the site to its list of hazardous waste sites needing cleanup.