EPA announces the selection of $1.4 million in funding for Brownfields assessment and cleanup grants for contaminated properties in New Hampshire
NASHUA - Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing that four grantees in the state of New Hampshire have been selected to receive $1.4 million in EPA Brownfields assessment and cleanup funding and technical assistance. These funds will aid under-served and economically disadvantaged communities around the state in assessing and cleaning up abandoned industrial and commercial properties.
EPA intends to award Brownfields grants to the following groups for sites in New Hampshire:
- The Nashua Regional Planning Commission with $300,000 in grants environmental assessment grants with a focus on the downtown areas of Nashua and Milford.
- The Strafford Regional Planning Commission for a $300,000 assessment grant targeting the NH-125 corridor between the cities of Milton and Rochester.
- The Upper Valley Lake Sunapee Regional Planning Commission for $300,000 in assessment grants for sites in the cities of Claremont and Lebanon.
- The Town of Walpole for a $500,000 cleanup grant that will be used to clean up the Central Plating Site.
The New Hampshire based grantees are among 151 grants awarded nationwide, totaling $64.6 million. The EPA Brownfields funding will provide communities with funding to assess underutilized and possibly contaminated properties that are being considered for redevelopment.
"These grants fulfill several of President Trump's top priorities simultaneously: helping communities in need transform contaminated sites into community assets that not only create jobs and jumpstart economic development but also improve public health and the environment," said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. "We are targeting these funds to areas that need them the most. Approximately 40 percent of the selected recipients are receiving Brownfields grants for the first time, which means we are reaching areas that may previously been neglected, and 108 of the selected communities have identified sites or targeted areas for redevelopment that fall within Opportunity Zones."
EPA's Brownfields grants and assistance to New Hampshire this year are among other significant annual investments by EPA to help New England communities to address brownfield properties. Across the six New England states this year, EPA is awarding a total of $11.6 million for over 30 communities to assess or clean contaminated brownfields sites.
"Communities across New Hampshire will benefit from EPA Brownfields funding," said EPA New England Acting Regional Administrator Deb Szaro. "Brownfields funding jump starts environmental cleanup at contaminated properties allowing them to be re-developed to benefit the community and its residents."
"New Hampshire is excited for opportunities presented to the Town of Walpole and the various communities served by the regional planning commissions who are being awarded the Brownfields grants being announced today" said Robert Scott, Commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services. "These grants allow otherwise underutilized properties to be assessed, cleaned up, and put to a better use. Much of this would not be possible if not for the advocates within the communities who benefit from these grants and the support of EPA."
Grants awarded by EPA's Brownfield Program provide communities across the country with an opportunity to transform contaminated sites into community assets that attract jobs and achieve broader economic development outcomes while taking advantage of existing infrastructure. For example, Brownfields grants have been shown to:
- Increase Local Tax Revenue: A study of 48 brownfields sites found that an estimated $29 million to $97 million in additional local tax revenue was generated in a single year after cleanup. This is two to seven times more than the $12.4 million EPA contributed to the cleanup of these sites.
- Increase Residential Property Values: Another study found that property values of homes near revitalized brownfields sites increased between 5% and 15% following cleanup.
More about the New Hampshire Grants:
Nashua Regional Planning Commission
The Nashua Regional Planning Commission will conduct environmental site assessments for four hazardous-substances sites and two petroleum sites. The grant funds will also be used to prepare six cleanup and reuse plans and to update an existing brownfields inventory, prioritize sites for assessment, and conduct community engagement activities. This grant will target the Nashua Region of New Hampshire with a focus on the downtown areas of Nashua and Milford.
Strafford Regional Planning Commission
A Brownfields grant targeting the NH-125 corridor between the Cities of Milton and Rochester will be used to conduct five environmental site assessments and develop seven cleanup plans, including cleanup plans for Lockhart Field in the City of Milton and Gonic Dams in the City of Rochester, develop a market analysis for 73-77 Main Street in Rochester, conduct redevelopment visioning for Gonic Dams and conduct community outreach activities.
Upper Valley Lake Sunapee Regional Planning Commission
The Upper Valley Lake Sunapee Regional Planning Commission will use a Brownfields grant to conduct five environmental site assessments and develop seven cleanup and reuse plans for sites in the Cities of Claremont and Lebanon. The commission will also use grant funds to inventory brownfield sites and conduct community engagement activities. Reuse planning and visioning will be conducted for the Westboro Railyard site to assist the City of Lebanon in designing an appropriate engineered cover system and park design.
Town of Walpole
The Town of Walpole will use a Brownfields cleanup grant to clean up the Central Plating Site at 12 Westminster Street in Walpole. The nearly 0.3-acre site operated as a metal electroplating facility from 1963 until 2006. The site is contaminated with heavy metals and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS). Grant funds also will be used to conduct community outreach activities, including three public meetings.
"I am truly excited to join as EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler announces over $64 million in Brownfield funding," said Scott Turner, Executive Director of the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council. "The Brownfields grant program is a tremendous vehicle for bringing real revitalization and transformation to the distressed communities of America. As the Executive Director of the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council I am pleased that EPA continues to support the Council and the President's work in this area. In fact, of the 149 communities selected for these grants, 108 will benefit communities with Opportunity Zones. I look forward to seeing the impact that these grants will have on neighborhoods and citizens across the country."
In New England, since the beginning of the Brownfields program, EPA has awarded $114 million in assessment grant funding, $109 million in revolving loan fund grants and supplemental funding and $75 million in cleanup grant funding. These grant funds have paved the way for more than $3.18 billion in public and private cleanup and redevelopment investment and for over 20,806 jobs in assessment, cleanup, construction and redevelopment.
A brownfield is a property for which the expansion, redevelopment or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant. There are estimated to be more than 450,000 brownfields in the U.S. As of May 2019, under the EPA Brownfields Program 30,153 properties have been assessed, and 86,131 acres of idle land have been made ready for productive use. In addition, communities have been able to use Brownfields grants to leverage 150,120 jobs and more than $28 billion of public and private funding.
In 2018 Congress reauthorized the statutory authority for the Brownfields Program. The reauthorization included changes to the program to expand the list of entities eligible for Brownfields grants, increase the limit of individual Brownfields cleanup grants to $500,000, and add grant authority for Multipurpose grants. These important changes will help communities address and cleanup more complex brownfield sites.
List of the FY 2019 Applicants Selected for Funding: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/applicants-selected-fy19-brownfields-multipurpose-assessment-and-cleanup-grants
For more on the Brownfields Grants: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/types-brownfields-grant-funding
For more on EPA's Brownfields Program: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields
More on the 2019 Brownfields Conference: https://www.brownfields2019.org