Through a competitive national selection process, EPA awards Brownfields grants to help pay for the assessment, cleanup and redevelopment of abandoned contaminated parcels - ‘brownfields’. Often these parcels are abandoned or not dealt with because they are too expensive or risky for a community to address or invest in with the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substances or pollutants.
'EPA’s Brownfields program has had incredible success helping New England communities revitalize overlooked and abandoned properties,” said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA's New England regional office. 'What were once perhaps dangerous or unsightly areas, will now become a source of revenue as they provide for skilled jobs, greater real estate potential and a cleaner environment.”
The three sites targeted for cleanup are in the Dorchester, Roxbury and Hyde Park neighborhoods of Boston. Hazardous substance grant funds will be used to clean up the 191 Bowdoin Street site in Dorchester, where elevated concentrations of heavy metals and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons have been detected. Grant funds will also be used to clean up the former Modern Electroplating and Enameling Facility at 2430 Washington Street in Roxbury where a variety if metals and volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) have been found on the premises. Finally, the third portion of grant funds will be used to clean up the Former Lewis Chemical property on Fairmount Court in Hyde Park. This facilities primary function was to collect, process and transport hazardous waste until it closed in 1983. Significant concentrations of VOC’s and PCB’s have been found in the soil and groundwater at the site.
“This generous grant from the EPA means that we can not only ensure the public safety of these sites in our neighborhoods, but we can also begin to revitalize these areas for productive use,” said Mayor Menino from the site of the former Modern Electroplating and Enameling Facility in Roxbury. “These grants will help us to evaluate the properties, clean up the problems, and begin moving forward with the process of restoring them to a useful state.”
EPA's Brownfields program promotes redevelopment of America's estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites. Municipalities and select organizations can also receive funding for cleanup grants and to establish revolving loan programs that provide low interest loans for cleanups.
In addition to industrial and commercial redevelopment, Brownfields projects have converted industrial waterfronts to riverfront parks, rail corridors to recreational trails, landfills to golf courses and gas stations to housing.