Leahy, Sanders, Welch: 6 Vermont Communities Net Brownfields Grants Totaling $2 M.

Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) Thursday announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has selected six Vermont communities to receive a total of $2 million for grants under the Brownfield Grant Program that will help them assess and clean up contaminated properties to facilitate their redevelopment and reuse. 

In a joint statement, Leahy, Sanders and Welch said:  “These investments protect public health and the environment in communities.  But even beyond those benefits, they also help turn these community liabilities into job-creating and revenue-generating community assets.  The Brownfields Program is a template for partnerships that empower communities and private organizations to work together in forging solutions and getting results.”

Competitive grants in funding toward EPA cooperative agreements have been approved for Brattleboro ($400,000); the Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission ($400,000); the Lamoille County Planning Commission ($400,000), the Northwest Regional Planning Commission ($200,000); the Springfield Regional Development Corporation, for the Bryant Grinder site ($200,000); and the Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission ($400,000).  Vermont’s statewide total of $2 million in grants is from $54.3 million that EPA will release nationwide, to 147 communities.

In selecting from among the many applicants, the agency looks for strong partnerships and plans to leverage these grants with other public-private investments.  According to EPA, these communities “use an inclusive process to catalyze the redevelopment of vacant formerly used manufacturing and commercial sites for broader revitalization in their downtowns.  This results in a transformed economy and environment while addressing poverty and economic distress.” 

According to EPA, since the start of the Brownfields Program in 1995, cumulative program investments have leveraged more than $22 billion from a variety of public and private sources for cleanup and redevelopment activities.  “This equates to an average of $17.79 leveraged per EPA brownfield dollar expended,” according to the agency, adding these investments have resulted in the creation of about 105,942 jobs nationwide.”  

More information on EPA’s brownfields program: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/

More information on brownfields success stories: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/success/index.htm

More information on the six Vermont grants: http://www.leahy.senate.gov/download/2015-vt-brownfields-ac-grant-fact-sheets_region01

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