For Immediate Release: May 20, 2016
Contacts (Media Inquiries Only)
Kathleen B. Castagna, Brownfields Project Officer | U.S. EPA, Region 1 | 627-918-1429 | Castagna.Kathleen@epa.gov
John DiCarlo | Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments | 203-757-0535 | email@example.com
Greater Naugatuck Valley Brownfields Program Receives $400,000 Federal Grant Funds
To Help Develop Remediation Plans For Contaminated Properties
The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today awarded the Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments (NVCOG) a $400,000 grant to conduct environmental assessments of properties with suspected contamination throughout the region.
Federal investment is critical to the study, remediation, and redevelopment of vacant and underutilized sites with existing environmental conditions throughout New England. Abandoned mill buildings remain a persistent challenge present in west central Connecticut in particular. EPA Region 1 has been a close partner to Naugatuck Valley communities since the Naugatuck Valley Pilot program was established in 1996.The funds awarded will be used to develop environmental information in order to better understand existing conditions. This data is leveraged to develop cleanup strategies with the ultimate goal of remediation and bringing the properties into productive reuse. Over the years, environmental assessment and cleanup funding provided by EPA has leveraged well over $70,000,000 in additional private and public resources across the region.
NVCOG Chairman, Waterbury Mayor Neil M. O’Leary said the grant is key to helping equalize the cost of developing former industrial sites, which are prevalent throughout the region, with environmentally clean sites.
“This grant is great news for the Naugatuck Valley,” said NVCOG Chairman Neil M. O’Leary. “In the city of Waterbury and throughout the region, we continue to work hard to address our 20th century manufacturing legacy. Every vacant, former industrial site represents an opportunity for private development of new housing, manufacturing and commercial facilities. The first step in cleaning these sites is comprehensive assessment. So the funds awarded today are vital to future economic development efforts.”
A major benefit to reclaiming Brownfields is that they are often located in areas with existing infrastructure – transportation and utilities, making them prime locations for new uses. The NVCOG distributes resources and provides environmental planning assistance to eligible municipalities of the Regional Brownfields Partnership. The 27 eligible municipalities extend north to south from Winsted to Shelton and west to east from Newtown to Berlin.
“Engaging with our partners at all levels – local, state, and federal – was a strong theme throughout DECD’s Brownfield conference earlier this week,” said NVCOG Executive Director Rick Dunne. “We’re grateful for the support we receive from EPA Region 1 Administrator Curt Spalding and the entire team at EPA Region 1, from CT DEEP and DECD, in addition to the leadership demonstrated by U.S. Senator Chris Murphy and U.S. Representative Elizabeth Esty on these issues. We look forward to continuing our work with additional community partners in this regard that include our municipal leaders, Valley United Way, The WorkPlace, the Hispanic Coalition of Greater Waterbury and the Connecticut Brownfield Landbank to meet the challenges presented by brownfields and foster essential development projects led by community needs.”