EPA Selects Two New Hampshire Towns to Receive $800k for Brownfields Cleanup and Assessment
EPA Brownfields Funding Helps Local Communities Build Back Better and Address Environmental Justice Concerns
BOSTON – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing that two grantees in the state of New Hampshire have been selected to receive $800,000 to assess and clean up contaminated properties under the agency's Brownfields Program. These funds will support under-served and economically disadvantaged communities in assessing and cleaning up abandoned industrial and commercial properties. The New Hampshire grant award announcements are among 151 communities across the nation to receive 154 grant awards totaling $66.5 million in Brownfields funding through its Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup (MAC) Grants.
"Through our Brownfields Program, EPA is delivering on the Biden Administration's commitment to lifting up and protecting overburdened communities across America, especially communities that have experienced long periods of disinvestment and decay," said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. "These assessment and cleanup grants will not only support economic growth and job creation, but they will also empower communities to address the environmental, public health, and social issues associated with contaminated land."
"These new EPA Brownfields funds are more important than ever, because the ongoing pandemic has impacted the economy and redevelopment throughout New England," said EPA New England Acting Regional Administrator Deborah Szaro. "Today's investment of EPA Brownfields assessment and cleanup funding provides a much-needed boost for economic development and job creation in many of New England's hardest hit and underserved communities."
EPA intends to award Brownfields grants to the following towns for sites in New Hampshire:
Boscawen, N.H.: The Town of Boscawen, a first-time recipient of this type of grant, will be awarded a $500,000 Cleanup Grant to clean up the former Allied Leather site located at 36-56 Commercial Street. The property was first developed as a sawmill in the 1820s and later used for various mill operations until 1953, when it became a leather tannery. The site has been vacant since 1987 and is contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, petroleum, metals, and other contaminants. Grant funds also will be used to conduct community outreach activities.
"The Town of Boscawen's Commercial Street area was once a thriving economic driver of the local economy. Over the years, the historic mill buildings took on other uses and deteriorated beyond viable use leaving behind a blighted area of riverfront in Boscawen's lower end which lowered property values, produced no jobs and generated no tax revenue for this small rural town. The residents of Boscawen twice voted at Town Meeting to apply for the EPA Brownfields grant in the hopes of finally getting help the Town could not financially provide by itself to assess and clean up the mill front whose transformation could become a catalyst for developing green riverfront housing, businesses and jobs in an area which can easily connect to the Northern Rail Trail and Interstate 93," stated the Town of Boscawen's Select Board Chair Lorrie Carey. "We thank the U.S. EPA for their support of this critical economic development and riverfront clean-up project."
Jaffrey, N.H.: The Town of Jaffrey, who has received one previous such grant, will be awarded a $300,000 Assessment Grant. The EPA Brownfields community-wide Assessment Grant funds will be used to conduct Phase 1 and Phase 2 environmental site assessments and develop cleanup plans at various sites in the town. Grant funds will also be used to conduct community outreach and reuse planning activities, including hosting a design charrette for priority sites. Priority sites in Jaffrey may include the 11-acre W.W. Cross Mill tack factory and the vacant St. Patrick's School.
"The Town is delighted to have been selected by EPA for a Community Wide Brownfield Assessment Grant. We will be working closely with our local Brownfields Advisory Committee, and our federal and state partners to address the redevelopment of derelict and abandoned sites so that they are no longer a burden but an asset to our neighborhoods and to the community at large," said Jon R. Frederick, Town Manager of Jaffrey.
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 $8.1 million for 18 communities to assess or clean contaminated brownfields sites.
"Brownfield cleanup grants help revitalize Granite State communities, spur economic growth and make our environment healthier and safer," said U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen. "I congratulate Jaffrey and Boscawen on being awarded these federal funds that will help rehabilitate these sites and provide a great benefit for their communities."
"These significant grant funds will help Boscawen and Jaffrey clean old and abandoned sites so that they can be re-purposed to support their local economies," said U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan. "I will continue working with the administration and the NH Congressional Delegation to secure critical funding like this to help our communities thrive."
"These important EPA investments will help to clean up and revitalize contaminated properties in New Hampshire, benefitting communities throughout the Granite State," said U.S. Congresswoman Annie Kuster. "The public-private partnerships enabled by EPA's Brownfields program help to drive investments in our local economy and transform contaminated sites into opportunities for redevelopment and recreation. I look forward to seeing the continued benefits of the exciting projects in Boscawen and Jaffrey that were selected to receive Brownfields grants."
"The Towns of Boscawen and Jaffrey have long contemplated what to do with properties within their respective communities that are underutilized, unsightly, and in need of attention from an environmental perspective. The EPA Brownfields grants being awarded today will go a long way toward assessing, cleaning up, and putting these properties back into productive use which will benefit these communities both now and into the future," said New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services Commissioner Bob Scott.
In New England, since the beginning of the Brownfields program, EPA has awarded $123 million in assessment grant funding, $112 million in revolving loan fund grants and supplemental funding and $82 million in cleanup grant funding. These grant funds have paved the way for more than $3.78 billion in public and private cleanup and redevelopment investment and for over 22,846 jobs in assessment, cleanup, construction and redevelopment.
Since its inception in 1995, EPA's Brownfields Program has provided nearly $1.76 billion in grants to assess and clean up contaminated properties and return them to productive reuse. This has led to significant benefits for communities across the country. For example,
- To date, communities participating in the Brownfields Program have been able to attract more than $34.4 billion in cleanup and redevelopment funding after receiving Brownfields funds. This has led to over 175,500 jobs in cleanup, construction, and redevelopment.
- Based on grant recipient reporting, recipients leveraged on average $20.13 for each EPA Brownfields dollar and 10.3 jobs per $100,000 of EPA Brownfield Grant funds expended on assessment, cleanup, and revolving loan fund cooperative agreements.
- In addition, an academic peer-reviewed study has found that residential properties near brownfield sites increased in value by 5% to 15.2% as a result of cleanup activities.
- Finally, analyzing data near 48 brownfields, EPA found an estimated $29 million to $97 million in additional tax revenue for local governments in a single year after cleanup—2 to 7 times more than the $12.4 million EPA contributed to the cleanup of those brownfield sites.
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 United States. EPAs Brownfields program has proven time and again that investing in properties like these unlocks their potential to improve the environmental, economic, and social fabric of communities.
Brownfields in New England: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/brownfields-and-land-revitalization-region-1
The list of the fiscal year 2021 applicants selected for funding is available here: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/applicants-selected-fy-2021-brownfields-multipurpose-assessment-and-cleanup-grants
EPA anticipates that it will award the grants once all legal and administrative requirements are satisfied by the selected recipients.
Basic Information on EPA's Brownfields Program: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields
Types of EPA Brownfields grants: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/types-epa-brownfield-grant-funding