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EPA Brownfield Grants Send Clean-Up Money To New England

Margo Fontaine
Creative Commons

The Environmental Protection Agency has announced more than $8 million in “brownfield” remediation grants, money that will fund assessments and cleanups of old industrial sites throughout New England.

Brownfields are properties that could get redeveloped, but carry around a big scarlet letter.

They’re usually contaminated with harmful chemicals or metals and need remediation before they can be put back into productive use.

In the latest round of EPA grants, Maine emerges as New England’s big winner: pulling down more than $3 million for a variety of projects, including clean up at an old woolen mill turned tannery, dating back to 1887.

Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont also each got more than $1 million in brownfield money.

In Connecticut, the city of Meriden received $200,000, which will go toward clean up of PCBs, petroleum, and other contaminants at the former Meriden Wallingford Hospital. That property was active for nearly 100 years, before being vacated in the 1990s.

Meriden officials say the hope is to turn the old property into a mixed use business-and-residential development.

Since its inception the mid-1990s, the EPA said it’s given nearly $300 million to New England states for brownfield clean up.

Patrick Skahill is a reporter and digital editor at Connecticut Public. Prior to becoming a reporter, he was the founding producer of Connecticut Public Radio's The Colin McEnroe Show, which began in 2009. Patrick's reporting has appeared on NPR's Morning Edition, Here & Now, and All Things Considered. He has also reported for the Marketplace Morning Report. He can be reached at pskahill@ctpublic.org.

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