Senators Joe Lieberman and Richard Blumenthal and Congressman Joe Courtney today applauded the announcement from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that the Town of Preston secured $800,000 in competitive grants to assess and clean up brownfield sites at the former Norwich Hospital property on Route 12. A $200,000 assessment grant will be used to investigate hazardous substances in soils and building materials and to develop cleanup plans and support community involvement activities.
The $600,000 clean-up grant will be used to remove hazardous substances from the 390-acre property. The former hospital facility operated for 90 years until it was closed in 1996. Buildings and underlying soils have been impacted by PCBs, metals, and inorganic contaminants. The grant funds also will be used to support community involvement activities.
"It is a tragedy whenever our environment is impacted by pollution and hazardous waste. Not only does it create a danger for current residents, but it also deprives future generations of the land's use." Said Lieberman. "This invaluable piece of property has sat vacant for far too long, and these grants will allow the Town of Preston to begin to heal the Norwich Hospital site and to utilize it for future development."
"These grants recognize the outstanding commitment and dedication of those involved in the Preston Riverwalk project, which I was proud to support. This funding is a major step toward cleanup and gainful use of land that otherwise will continue to be an eyesore and a danger to public health," said Senator Blumenthal. "This commitment to funding is matched by the resolve and resources of state and local governments to form a powerful alliance that ultimately should create jobs and economic growth."
"The Town of Preston's success in securing this competitive funding is a testament not only to the quality of their application, but the need for action at the former Norwich Hospital site," said Congressman Courtney, who wrote to the EPA in support of Preston's application. "This funding gives the Town a tremendous opportunity to start over, and begin work on a site that would otherwise lie dormant and pose a threat to the surrounding area."