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Brownfields Assessment Grant

UVLSRPC Projects

Project Administrator:

Victoria Davis

Project Title:

Brownfields Assessment Grant

Related Services:

Economic Development, Waste Management / Recycling

Project Summary:

The Upper Valley Lake Sunapee Regional Planning Commission received a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for $300,000 to assess properties that may have been contaminated with hazardous waste or petroleum. The focus of the funding will be in the Cities of Claremont and Lebanon with additional funding available for other towns in the UVLSRPC Region.

This grant will continue the work from 2016/2017 to help the region. An Advisory Committee will convene and the project work will begin on October 1, 2019, initially by prioritizing available sites for assessment.  

Brownfields are former industrial or commercial sites where reuse or redevelopment may be affected by contamination, either by hazardous substances or by petroleum.  This may include former gas stations, manufacturers, mills, auto or machine repair shops, rail yards, lumber yards, and warehouses.  Contamination may be in the soil on the site or in the building structure itself.

The assessment of a potential brownfield site is completed in two phases. After the site is selected for the initial review, a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) is completed by a qualified environmental professional. This determines whether or not the site meets the criteria for further investigation. If so, the second phase begins with a Phase II ESA.

These assessments often occur on properties that are in transition or targeted for redevelopment. This process is important to those considering selling or buying commercial properties. Funding for this project also includes technical assistance for community education about the Brownfields program.

Additional Information

The UVLSRPC Brownfields Advisory Committee established site selection criteria with a focus on smart growth principles and the consistency of the site redevelopment with municipal zoning and master plan. Assessment funds will continue to be directed toward environmental assessments and remediation planning of sites with the potential to support the key goals for revitalizing downtowns and where there is strong support both in the communities and on the Advisory Committee. Particular focus will be on those projects with in-fill development and access to critical infrastructure such as water and sewer or create green space, and those that direct population growth near transportation and commercial resources.

Anticipated outcomes of the currently proposed assessments will include 1. watershed protection and the creation of waterfront green spaces in both cities, 2. the creation of new affordable housing and commercial spaces at underutilized property in both cities, 3. the preservation of historic buildings in Claremont, and 4. increased property values and thus tax revenue, and 5. the creation of jobs in both cities both during the assessment and the following cleanup and redevelopment, as well as anticipated new commercial enterprises.  As an example, the former Lebanon Public Works Annex site located off Spencer Street was recently cleaned up and is currently being redeveloped into a $5.2M office building to support the expansion of the business and the hiring of new employees.  This project has leveraged 35 construction jobs and the owner, Geokon, Inc. is currently hiring almost 150 management, sales, and manufacturing employees are a result.   In addition, both the owner of the Topstone Mill and Geokon have planned to incorporate solar panels during redevelopment and several other opportunities to expand solar will be pursued during the redevelopment of the mill and industrial districts.

Funders:

  • US Environmental Protection Agency, Brownfields Grant

Committees Involved:

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