For Immediate Release - August 27, 2009


SPRINGFIELD - Thursday, August 27, 2009 - As part of the Patrick-Murray Administration's Brownfields Support Team Initiative, Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray today announced the commencement of demolition of structures at 121 Pinevale Street - part of the proposed Indian Orchard Business Park Project in Springfield. The Brownfields Support Team Initiative, a multi-agency pilot program, is leading the demolition of this property and the project will be overseen by MassDevelopment.

"The commencement of demolition at 121 Pinevale Street represents a significant milestone for the Indian Orchard Business Park Project," said Lieutenant Governor Murray. "It's a great example of how the new Brownfields Support Team Initiative has successfully collaborated as a team of state and federal agencies to get the job done for a very complex brownfield site."

The Indian Orchard Brownfield Support Team is working with Springfield to help transform this and surrounding municipally-owned properties into a state-of-the-art light industrial complex that will help generate local jobs and tax revenue. Up to $900,000 in funding from a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Revolving Loan Fund, through the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, will be used to perform demolition and remediation at this site.

"Reclaiming brownfield sites - in this case a site that is surrounded by neighborhoods and once provided walk-to-work jobs for thousands - is critical to maximizing the future economic potential of gateway cities like Springfield," said MassDevelopment President and CEO Robert L. Culver. "The clean-up and demolition we celebrate today are paving the way for progress and prosperity down the line."

MassDevelopment recently approved $143,000 for site assessment funding that will apply to portions of the 54 acre project. Other accomplishments of the Indian Orchard Brownfield Support Team over the past year include: the city's completion of the demolition of the Goodwin Street foundry; expedited Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act approvals through the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs; final approval of an Urban Renewal Plan for the project by the Department of Housing and Community Development; and commitment of up to $200,000 from the U.S. Department of Environmental Protection's EPA Coalition Grant, awarded in May 2009, for assessment of contamination at city-prioritized brownfields projects.

"We are very grateful to EPA Region 1 for their generous brownfields support to state, regional, and local entities in Massachusetts," said Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) Commissioner Laurie Burt. "The progress made at this site illustrates what a critical role this funding plays in moving redevelopment projects forward."

"The brownfield funds help to create a strong foundation to remarket and redevelop this property, which will ultimately lead to the creation of new jobs and tax revenues for the city," said Mayor Domenic J. Sarno of Springfield. "This project continues to move forward and the city is appreciative of the input it has received from the residents and businesses of Indian Orchard, including the Indian Orchard Citizen's Council."

The Indian Orchard Business Park site was used for heavy manufacturing from the 1870s to the 1980s. The 56-acre area is planned for redevelopment as a modern business complex with parcels optimized for commercial and light industrial tenants. As the largest tract of potentially-developable land in the city, the park is expected to attract significant employment and also generate local tax revenues. Currently, redevelopment of the site is complicated by the presence of metals, petroleum and PCBs in some areas of the soil and groundwater.

In July 2008, the Patrick-Murray Administration announced that five sites located across the Commonwealth were selected for assistance through a pilot program known as the Brownfields Support Team Initiative. This multi-agency initiative was created to provide proactive, concentrated state assistance to communities undertaking cleanup and redevelopment of brownfield sites. The five projects are led by staff from key state and federal agencies including MassDEP, MassDevelopment, and the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED). The Indian Orchard Business Park Brownfield Support Team also includes the U.S. EPA, the Massachusetts Office of Business Development, MassBusiness, and the Attorney General's Office. Mayor Sarno has also assigned staff from the Springfield Economic Development Department to assist with this redevelopment.