LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR MURRAY HIGHLIGHTS THE FORMER KILEY BARREL SITE IN SOMERVILLE AS PART OF THE PATRICK-MURRAY ADMINISTRATION'S BROWNFIELDS SUPPORT TEAM INITIATIVE
Lieutenant Governor Murray and local officials celebrate partnership that will spur Brownfields cleanup and economic revitalization
First launched in 2008, the BST is an interagency initiative that emphasizes collaboration across agencies and with communities to help clean up challenging and complex contaminated sites, and prepare them for redevelopment.
Round I of the BST achieved measurable results at all five sites, including the commitment of more than $8 million in funding by participating agencies for assessment, cleanup, demolition and infrastructure improvements. Given the pilot's tremendous success, the Patrick-Murray Administration recently selected six brownfields sites for Round II, including the North Prospect Block Redevelopment Project, which will lead to job creation and increased tax revenues for cities and towns.
"As we continue to focus on job creation and economic recovery, the Brownfield Support Team is a leading model that brings together the right resources and tools to assist communities in their redevelopment initiatives," said Governor Deval Patrick. "The first round of this pilot program proved very successful and we look forward to working with more cities and towns in their efforts to turn blighted sites into opportunities for future job growth and economic development."
"Our Administration is committed to partnering with cities and towns across the state as we work together to support the Commonwealth's economic recovery," said Lt. Governor Murray, who leads the Brownfields Support Team. "Redevelopment of these selected sites will lead to the revitalization of housing and economic development in transit-oriented locations, spur business growth in key downtown areas, and boost local and regional economies."
As part of the BST Initiative, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED), the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) and the Massachusetts Development Finance Agency (MassDevelopment) will work with the City of Somerville to identify specific issues that hinder redevelopment of the selected downtown properties.
The North Prospect Block Redevelopment Project is part of the City of Somerville's plan to revitalize the historic Union Square neighborhood for mixed-use Transit Oriented Development (TOD) adjacent to a proposed Green Line Station. There are a number of brownfield sites within the center of the square, including several owned by the City.
The City has been working with MassDEP for over two years to resolve environmental issues related to the municipally-owned Kiley Barrel site located within Union Square. This 8 parcel property, located at the intersection of Prospect Street and Somerville Avenue, was previously used as Kiley Barrel's operations until the 1990's, which included steam cleaning, storage and reuse of barrels. As a result, the site now includes contaminated soil with heavy metals, PCBs and petroleum. The redevelopment plans for this site include the construction of an adjacent municipal parking lot and mixed-use development.
"This initiative is instrumental in furthering our goals for the future of Union Square, and the City of Somerville as a whole. By supporting Brownfields revitalization, the Patrick-Murray Administration and the DEP are investing in the economic sustainability of our cities and towns, and I am grateful for their foresight and support, particularly of our own Kiley Barrel site," said Somerville Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone.
The BST model emphasizes interagency collaboration with municipalities to solve problems impeding the redevelopment of contaminated properties. In addition to MassDEP, EOHED, MassDOT and MassDevelopment, other state and federal agencies will also participate on these teams depending on the project needs. Additional agencies may include the Office of the Attorney General, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
"For more than 20 years, Massachusetts has witnessed how brownfields can provide a solid return on investment by transforming formerly contaminated, dormant, and abandoned sites into redevelopment success stories," said MassDEP Commissioner Laurie Burt. "We look forward to working with our state and federal partners to achieve several more victories at these recently selected locations."
"This unique type of redevelopment is beneficial not just to local communities but to the Commonwealth as a whole," said Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Greg Bialecki. "The collaboration between agencies in moving the Brownfields initiative forward will provide a clear and coordinated path to long term economic development for municipalities throughout Massachusetts."
"Initiatives that promote sustainable economic development and enhance the quality of life are a priority of the Governor and Lieutenant Governor," said Massachusetts Department of Transportation Secretary and CEO Jeffrey Mullan. "We look forward to continued active participation in the Brownfields initiative and using our transportation network and services to assist in the redevelopment of these sites."
"This structured approach to redevelopment streamlining programs and services created a decade ago fits well with the mission of MassDevelopment to eradicate blight and promote economic development throughout the Commonwealth," said MassDevelopment President and CEO Robert L. Culver. "We enjoy strong working relationships with our partners on the Brownfields Support Team and look forward to bringing more of these promising sites to their highest and best uses."
The Brownfields Support Team will work with communities to provide technical and financial assistance, such as expedited site inspections, reviews and approvals by MassDEP; technical assistance on expedited permitting from EOHED; funding for assessment and cleanup from MassDevelopment; financial and technical assistance from MassDOT; and coordination with the Attorney General's Office on liability issues.
"This is a great opportunity for Somerville to improve a contaminated site in the heart of Union Square. I applaud the Governor and the Mayor for their leadership on this. This project along with the Green Line Extension demonstrate the Administration's commitment to Somerville and to economic development through infrastructure investment," said Senator Patricia Jehlen.
"This is an exciting project for Somerville. State supported remediation of this site will further smart economic growth and demonstrates a commitment to the environmental health of the region," said Representative Carl Sciortino.
"It was clear from the thoughtful questions that Lt. Governor Murray asked on the recent tour of the North Prospect site that he understands its economic development potential. I'm so pleased that this understanding is so quickly translating into support for this redevelopment project," said Representative Denise Provost.
Round II of the BST Initiative also includes the former Uniroyal/Facemate sites in Chicopee, the Downtown Redevelopment Project in Attleboro, the Mill Street Corridor site in Gardner, the Silicon Transistor Corporation Property in Chelmsford and a new city-wide brownfields assistance pilot in Brockton.
To learn more about the Brownfield Support Team Initiative, visit www.mass.gov/dep/cleanup/brownfie.htm#bst.