Rhode Island Communities to Receive $1.6 Million for Environmental Cleanup
WASHINGTON, DC - In an effort to help local communities reclaim and revitalize abandoned properties, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) today announced that $1.6 million in federal funding will be used to clean up former industrial and commercial sites in Providence and Pawtucket. These federal brownfields grants, administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), are used to clean up abandoned or under-used commercial properties where expansion or redevelopment has been slowed or prevented because of contamination and cleanup costs. "Environmental restoration and economic development go hand-in-hand. This brownfields funding is good for the environment, but its also good for the local economy," said Reed. "By redeveloping brownfields we can revitalize neighborhoods and provide new opportunities for economic growth and job creation." Under the funding announced today, the city of Pawtucket that will receive $600,000 for clean up of three parcels of land on Front Street and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) will receive $200,000 for a community-wide assessment of hazardous materials. In addition several properties in Providence will receive funding for clean up, including $200,000 for the Rhode Island Family Life Center for property on Plainfield Street; $400,000 for Woonasquatucket Valley Community Build for clean up of two properties on the former Providence Steel and Iron site; and $200,000 for the Omni Development Corporation for clean up of the former John and Thomas Hope Company site. A member of the Banking Committee, Senator Reed has consistently supported funding for the program that provides grants to state and local communities, and private entities to revitalize former industrial areas and clean-up environmental contamination. In addition to cleaning up contaminated areas, Brownfield grants have helped communities convert these industrial spaces to parks, golf courses, recreational trails and even housing. "The Brownfields grant program has helped communities across Rhode Island change from blighted, industrial wastelands, to areas that all of our citizens can use and enjoy. I am proud to have supported this program, and will continue to work to ensure that it continues to receive the funding that it needs to make Rhode Island a cleaner place to live," concluded Reed.