For Immediate Release - November 29, 2012

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR MURRAY ANNOUNCES THIRD ROUND OF THE BROWNFIELDS SUPPORT TEAM INITIATIVE

Five additional sites across the Commonwealth will spur brownfields cleanup; Collaborative approach is a model for accelerating and advancing brownfields redevelopment

BOSTON – Thursday, November 29, 2012 – Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray today announced five new projects designated for assistance through the Patrick-Murray Administration’s Brownfields Support Team (BST) Initiative to spur cleanup of the state’s most challenging and contaminated sites and prepare for economic and community redevelopment.  Joined by state and local officials at a State House ceremony, Lieutenant Governor Murray also recognized November as Brownfields Month, both nationally and in Massachusetts.

The five brownfields sites designated in the third round of the BST are: Lower Millyard in Amesbury; the former Lewis Chemical site in Hyde Park; the Central Steam Plant in Fitchburg; Ludlow Mills in Ludlow; and the Payne Cutlery and former Elco Dress sites in New Bedford.

“The Brownfields Support Team is an effective collaborative approach that brings together state, local, and federal agencies to help advance and accelerate the redevelopment of major brownfields sites across the state,” said Lieutenant Governor Murray, who first launched the initiative with Governor Patrick in 2008. “In this latest round, we have projects that are regionally diverse with opportunities that will lead to public-private partnerships, job creation, and community and economic development.”

First launched in 2008, the BST has coordinated 24 state, local, and federal agencies over the last several years to tackle some of the state’s most complex brownfields. By working closely with key stakeholders in all levels of government, the BST has helped to deliver more than $18 million in funding to accelerate cleanup, streamline progress to overcome technical roadblocks, and reuse more than 300 acres of valuable property for community and economic development.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) applauded the work of the BST. With the addition of the latest round, EPA Regional 1 Administrator Curt Spalding, regional administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's New England Office, said, "Revitalizing brownfield sites makes great environmental and economic sense. The Massachusetts Brownfields Support Team has played an important role in helping sites in the Commonwealth to gain assistance in addressing neglected sites, and the BST has become a model of teamwork and partnerships that is receiving regional and national attention.  We look forward to continuing this collaboration at these newly announced projects."

“Redevelopment of Brownfields sites are critical components of furthering economic development and environmental protection in our Commonwealth,” said Attorney General Martha Coakley. “The selection of these five additional sites are important next steps in this process, and we are pleased to assist in those efforts. We want to thank Governor Patrick, Lieutenant Governor Murray, and their administration for their continued focus on these important projects.”

As part of today’s announcement, Lieutenant Governor Murray congratulated local and state officials for the accomplishments achieved at brownfields sites in the first and second round of the BST.  In addition to Amesbury, Boston, Fitchburg, Ludlow, and New Bedford, the latest communities to join the BST, earlier BST sites include: Fall River, Grafton, Haverhill, Springfield, and Worcester from the first round, and Attleboro, Chelmsford, Chicopee, Gardner, and Somerville from the second round.  The BST has also worked with the City of Brockton to assess a complete list of brownfields in need of redevelopment.

The BST Round III formally brings together staff from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED), the Massachusetts Development Finance Agency (MassDevelopment), the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), along the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER), the latest addition to the BST.  Together, these participating agencies help designated municipalities solve problems impeding the redevelopment of contaminated properties.  Other state and federal agencies will also participate on these teams depending on the project needs.  In previous rounds of the BST, additional agencies have included the Office of the Attorney General, the U.S. EPA, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the Federal Transit Administration.

The Brownfields Support Team Round III Designated Sites:

•Lower Millyard (Amesbury) – This 40-acre site has some remaining environmental cleanup needs (e.g., fuel oil, heavy metals, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) associated with a former coal plant and underground storage tanks (UST) in addition to ownership issues that require BST support. 

•Former Lewis Chemical Site (Hyde Park/Boston) – Abutting the MBTA Fairmont/Indigo commuter rail line, there is potential for future commercial redevelopment on this brownfields site.  Currently, this 0.7-acre site has environmental cleanup needs associated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and chlorinated volatile organic compounds (CVOCs).  A building on the site also needs to be demolished.

•Central Steam Plant (Fitchburg) – This four-acre site is part of the Wachusett Station Smart Growth Corridor Plan. The site has environmental cleanup needs associated with two underground storage tanks (USTs), non-friable asbestos-containing material (ACM) in the steam plant building, possible groundwater contamination, and some residual oil from a spill attributed to recent vandalism.

•Ludlow Mills (Ludlow) – This site spans 170 acres, and redevelopment plans are transit-oriented and incorporate various sustainability design elements, including solar photovoltaic systems.  The site has environmental cleanup needs due to multiple releases that require further assessment.

•Payne Cutlery and Former Elco Dress Sites (New Bedford) – These contiguous sites span approximately five acres, and the proposed economic development potential includes opportunities as future mixed-use property.  Currently, the sites require environmental cleanup associated with petroleum contaminations, a trichloroethylene (TCE) plume, and asbestos and lead paint management issues.

The BST will work with communities to identify site and project specific issues that hinder redevelopment of key properties. Assistance provided by the BST may include 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.

“MassDevelopment, which administers the Brownfields Redevelopment Fund for the Commonwealth, looks forward to working with our partners on this third BST round,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones.  “We will help transform these five sites at the heart of our major urban centers into cleaner job generators.”

“In this latest round of the Brownfields Support Team initiative, the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) has joined the BST Senior Team and along with MassDEP, we are focusing on environmental sustainability and clean energy for a number of these new projects,” said MassDEP Commissioner Kenneth Kimmell.  “DOER Commissioner Mark Sylvia and I look forward to not only cleaning up these sites, but incorporating solar, geothermal and other clean energy elements into the future design and redevelopment of these parcels.”

Quotes from Local and State Officials

Amesbury

“We are excited about the ongoing partnership we have with the Patrick-Murray administration to continue the revitalization of the Lower Millyard in downtown Amesbury,” says Mayor Thatcher Kezer. “With the support of the Brownfield Support Team, we will transform the Lower Millyard into an economic engine for the future of Amesbury.”

“Under the leadership of Governor Patrick and Lieutenant Governor Murray, the state has time and time again invested money and resources into the Lower Millyard,” said Representative Michael A. Costello. “Today’s announcement that it will become a Brownfields Support Team site holds the promise that further state and federal resources will enhance those efforts. With investments like the MassWorks grant for Elm Street, the Powow River boat launch, the MassDot Riverwalk, and the MassDevelpment Brownfield planning grant, the state has been a vital partner to Amesbury and has demonstrated a comprehensive program of investment in the area. I will continue to work with the state, the City, and the business community to realize the vision of a redeveloped Lower Millyard.”

Boston

“This designation of the former Lewis Chemical plant will assist the City of Boston in cleaning the contaminated site and getting it back into productive use,” said Mayor Tom Menino. “We are pleased the Commonwealth has selected the site to receive resources through the Brownfield Support Team Initiative, and look forward to working with both the State and the Hyde Park community as we move forward.”

Fitchburg

“I’m really excited for the City of Fitchburg.  At one time, the Central Steam Line Plant was a staple in the Fitchburg Community and today the site could benefit from the services offered by the Brownfield Support Team,” said state Senator Jennifer Flanagan.  “I am very hopeful that working together with our partners on the local, state and federal level we clean this site and get it ready for redevelopment.”  

“This is a positive opportunity for Fitchburg, in being one step closer to cleaning up The Central Steam Plant brownfield site and protecting our river,” said Representative Stephen DiNatale.  “This site is close to the Wachusett Station and is a prime location for economic redevelopment.”

Ludlow

“Westmass, the town of Ludlow and our region are pleased by the Lt. Governor’s announcement to include the Ludlow Mills Preservation and Redevelopment project in the BST, and we thank Governor Patrick, Lt. Governor Murray, and our legislative delegation for their continued support and assistance,” said Kenn Delude, President and CEO of Westmass Area Development Corporation.  “As one of the largest brownfield mill redevelopment projects in New England, the Ludlow Mills project will significantly benefit from the inter-disciplinary work of the BST to address complex and complicated aspects of this project as we work to revitalize the site, retain and grow jobs, and improve the regional economy.”

New Bedford

“The successful redevelopment of brownfield sites is a real challenge for cities like New Bedford.  Our city benefits enormously from the Patrick-Murray Administration’s multi-agency approach to supporting the redevelopment of targeted Brownfield sites,” said New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell.  With this additional assessment, New Bedford can build upon the progress we have already made at the former Payne Cutlery and Elco Dress sites by conducting additional assessment and remediation  that will prepare these sites for sustainable redevelopment and contribute to neighborhood revitalization.”

To review the 2012 Brownfields Support Team Annual Report, visit http://www.mass.gov/dep/cleanup/bst1112.pdf.

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