Town and Village

New brownfields funding available for assessment and cleanup work

BRATTLEBORO — The Windham Regional Commission (WRC) has been awarded $500,000 for brownfields assessment work and $2 million for cleanup from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“This funding is critical to support the work of the Windham Regional Brownfields Reuse Initiative (WRBRI),” the WRC said in a news release. “Assessment funding is used to determine if there is contamination by hazardous materials or petroleum products and the extent of that contamination. Once the contamination issues are clearly identified, a cleanup plan is developed. Property owners, public and private, can then apply for cleanup funding to make sites safe for redevelopment.”

The state of Vermont is also supporting brownfields work with $50,000 for assessment work. Together with the EPA funding, the WRC says this money “will enable redevelopment throughout the Windham Region.”

Brownfield sites are often located in downtowns and village centers and along rivers and streams, in part because historic industrial uses relied on water power. Brownfield issues are also often found at the sites of gas stations and dry cleaners whose processes may have contaminated soil and water. By assessing and cleaning up brownfields, the WRC says important redevelopment sites are brought back to life.

Recent sites cleaned up with funding from the WRBRI include the Garage Project in Bellows Falls, which has been redeveloped by Windham & Windsor Housing Trust for affordable housing, and the New England Youth Theater, who cleaned up and demolished a dangerous structure.

The Bellows Falls train station building will also be cleaned up and redeveloped for continued use as a train station, as well as a café or brewery.

Those interested in learning more about this funding are encouraged to visit or contact WRC Associate Director Susan Westa at [email protected].

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