Thursday, May 24, 2012
RI Receives $1.2 Million to Clean Up Brownfields
Federal funding to support work in Providence, Bristol, and Pawtucket
WASHINGTON, DC - In an effort to protect the health and well-being of Rhode Islanders and redevelop former industrial sites, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) today announced $1.2 million in federal funding to help clean up brownfields in communities across the state. A brownfield site is property where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.
Four Rhode Island organizations - the Paul Cuffee School; Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM); Blackstone Valley Community Action Program; and Mosaico Business and Community Development Corporation - are among 245 nationwide that will receive competitive grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help clean up contaminated land, create jobs, and protect public health.
“This federal funding will help local partners clean up our communities and revitalize these sites to restore them to productive use,” said Reed, Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees federal funding for all EPA programs. In 2002, Reed helped pass legislation making this federal funding possible. “Not only will this federal investment help protect the health and well-being of residents and the environment, but it will generate job growth, increase surrounding property values, and strengthen the local economy.”
The Brownfields Program, administered by the EPA, empowers states, communities, and other stakeholders to work together to prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse brownfield sites.
Paul Cuffee School will receive a total of $400,000 for two brownfield cleanup grants to clean up and redevelop adjacent properties for a new parking lot and athletic field for students. The former Living Room Nightclub site in Providence where soil is contaminated with metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons co-mingled with petroleum.
Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management will receive $400,000 to conduct two Phase I and two Phase II environmental site assessments. Brownfields assessment will help the state and local communities plan for cleanups and conduct community outreach activities related to environmental contamination at sites and leverage resources for redevelopment.
Blackstone Valley Community Action Program will receive $200,000 to clean up hazardous substances at the former Laurel Hill Playground in Pawtucket. This playground was the former location of an elementary school for almost 100 years until its demolition in 1970. It was then used as a playground, but has been vacant for 10 years. The subsurface is contaminated with heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from the use of undocumented fill materials.
Mosaico Business and Community Development Corporation will receive $200,000 to clean up the former Bristol Industrial Park. This site was used for rubber and other heavy manufacturing uses for over 100 years. Currently, the site is contaminated with petroleum.