City Awarded EPA Grant for Brownsfields Study

By Becky W. Evans
New Bedford Standard-Times

The city of New Bedford is one of nine applicants in the state to receive Recovery Act funding dedicated to the cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated industrial and commercial sites, known as brownfields.
The city will receive a $200,000 grant to study sites contaminated by hazardous waste, said Scott Alfonse, director of the city’s Department of Environmental Stewardship.
“With this new round of funding, we are likely to look at other sites in the city and will be engaging community organizations to help us to identify sites for assessments,” Alfonse said.
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson announced Monday a total of $111.9 million in federal brownfields grants, with some of the funding coming from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
Massachusetts grants included $2.7 million from the Recovery Act and $4.4 million from EPA brownfields general program funding.
“A revitalized brownfields site reduces threats to human health and the environment, creates green jobs, promotes community involvement, and attracts investment in local neighborhoods,” Jackson said in a statement.
Last spring, the EPA awarded New Bedford two brownfields grants totaling $400,000. One grant was directed at petroleum contamination and the other at hazardous materials contamination. New Bedford applied in the fall for an additional grant of $200,000 for hazardous waste site assessment, Alfonse said.
He said it appeared that “if not for the stimulus money, we would not have gotten money” this year from the EPA.
The city’s grant application estimated that New Bedford has at least 492 sites contaminated by a release of oil or hazardous materials, the majority of which are located in the “city’s older, urban core.”
Of the 492 sites, 83 have yet to reach a “permanent solution,” meaning the final stage of the cleanup is not done. The city owns 10 of those 83 sites, totaling 40 acres.
The 10 sites are in need of assessment or cleanup planning assistance before remediation and redevelopment can begin.
Contact Becky W. Evans at revans@s-t.com
May 12, 2009
Source URL: http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090512/NEWS/905120340

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