Cleanup and re-use efforts for so-called “Brownfields” contaminated sites in the Merrimack Valley are getting a financial boost from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA has announced that in August they executed an agreement for $820,000 in grant funding to support the MVPC Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund.
The Fund provides low-interest loans and grants to clean up distressed properties and advance redevelopment plans led by cities and towns in the 15-community Merrimack Valley region. The Loan Fund has helped finance brownfields cleanup and planning activities in Lawrence, Methuen, Haverhill, Newburyport, Amesbury, and Salisbury.
“Thanks to EPA support and resources, we are able to provide flexible financing options that can leverage more private investment in long-neglected properties and create jobs and healthy neighborhoods,” said Dennis A. DiZoglio, Executive Director of the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission.
In an additional boost for the Merrimack Valley, EPA awarded the Town of Merrimac a $530,000 Cleanup grant for site remediation at the abandoned Coastal Metals industrial site located off the Town’s Village center. The site once housed an electronic plating company, and for decades has been a public safety and blight concern in the densely developed Little Court neighborhood. The Cleanup funds, and possible gap financing with the Merrimack Valley Revolving Loan Fund, will enable the Town to proceed with plans to convert the dilapidated property into housing.
MVPC is also a partner in the MassDEP successful proposal for Brownfields Assessment funding targeted to the Lawrence area. The $400,000 Assessment grant award from the EPA will be used to conduct environmental testing at sites in preparation for cleanup and redevelopment.
Anyone interested in the Merrimack Valley Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund should contact Joseph Cosgrove, MVPC Environmental Program Manager at 978-374-0519 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by Joe Cosgrove
Environmental Program Manager