EPA Adm. Gina McCarthy Joins Leahy And Welch In Vermont To Announce $400,000 In Brownfields Grants To Assess Sites For Possible Contamination Before They Are Developed

BURLINGTON, Vt. (FRIDAY, May 20, 2016) -- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy Friday joined Senator Patrick Leahy and Congressman Peter Welch in Vermont to announce Brownfields Assessment Grants of $400,000 each to the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission (CCRPC) and the Windham Regional Commission (WRC).  The grants will support the assessment of brownfields sites, the redevelopment of which is  complicated by the possible presence of environmental contamination.  Governor Peter Shumlin and Burlington Mayor Miro Wienberger also joined in the announcement.  Both the State of Vermont and the City of Burlington have active brownfields redevelopment programs.

The event took place at the Maiden Lane Apartments on North Winooski Avenue in Burlington.  These new apartments were developed only after the investment of $38,000 by the CCRPC from a prior EPA Brownfields Assessment grant, as well as support from State of Vermont revolving loan funds.  Redstone Group developed Maiden Lane apartments on a previously occupied site and the building includes 28 apartments with 4 affordable units, and retail space on the ground floor.  The small upfront investment of federal grant dollars for assessment and planning resulted in this much-needed $5 million plus project moving forward.

While announcing the Vermont grants Administrator McCarthy also announced EPA Brownfields Grants totaling $55.2 million to 131 communities across the U.S.  Recipients will each receive approximately $200,000 to $820,000 in funding toward EPA cooperative agreements. The Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund and Cleanup (ARC) grants target communities that are underserved and economically disadvantaged, including neighborhoods where environmental cleanup and new jobs are most needed.

Senator Leahy said:  “This project that we are visiting today leveraged a $38,000 EPA Brownfields Assessment Grant, along with loan support from the State of Vermont, into a $5.5 million dollar development of much-needed apartments and retail space in the heart of Burlington’s Old North End.  That is a great and meaningful return on federal investment.”

Congressman Welch said: "This brownfield redevelopment funding is a win-win for Vermont, helping promote environmental clean-up and local economic development in our communities."

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