The City of Holyoke has been awarded $200,000 in funding from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for a competitive brownfields cleanup grant that would go towards cleaning up a contaminated property at 689 Main Street. Formerly the location of an automotive sale and service facility known as “Automania”, the half acre site has sat vacant since 1996 in an area that has been used for industrial purposes since 1900. The property has been owned by the City since 1996 for failure of prior ownership to pay its taxes.
“Contamination is often a barrier to new development in former industrial properties. Cleaning up places like these facilitates private acquitisition, development and job creation” said Marcos Marrero, Director of Planning & Economic Development. Environmental concerns at this site include organic compounds, polycyclic aromatic compounds, PCBs, and heavy metals, as shown in previous site assessments. “We are thankful to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for their consideration in this award, which will help us get this site towards productive use” added Marrero.
The award increases the total resources for brownfields assessment, technical assistance and cleanup secured by the City of Holyoke’s Office of Planning & Economic Development to $787,000 since the beginning of 2012. “We’re fortunate to receive this additional funding that is critically needed to continue moving our development plans forward,” Mayor Morse said. “This cleanup will complement the other awards that have been used to get key sites like 216 and 191 Appleton Street ready for development.” Since the inception of the EPA’s Brownfields Program in 1995, cumulative brownfield program investments have leveraged more than $21 billion from a variety of public and private sources for cleanup and redevelopment activities nationwide. This equates to an average of $17.79 leveraged per EPA brownfield dollar expended and have resulted in approximately 93,000 jobs nationwide. These projects demonstrate the positive impact a small investment of brownfields funding can have on community revitalization through leveraging jobs and improving opportunities for surrounding neighborhoods. EPA’s Brownfields Program empowers states, communities, and other stakeholders to work together to prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse brownfields sites.
For further information, including specific grant contacts, additional grant information, brownfields news and events, and publications and links, visit the EPA Brownfields Web site (http://www.epa.gov/brownfields).
EPA Region 1 Brownfields Team 617-918-1278Share