U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) was joined by local officials today to announce a pair of federal grants that will allow their communities to decontaminate and rehabilitate polluted industrial sites.
Franklin and Tilton each won a $200,000 Brownfield Cleanup grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Franklin will use it to remove contaminated soil, asbestos, and other toxic materials from the Guay's Garage site, a former auto repair shop, making the property available for commercial development. Tilton will use the funds for similar work at the former home of Ernie's Auto Sales, which it plans to redevelop into a downtown green space with river front trail access.
"New Hampshire has a great tradition of preserving pristine public lands. But it is a lot more challenging to bring a piece of land back from the brink after it's already been polluted," Shaheen said. "Congratulations to both Tilton and Franklin for taking on that challenge. Both of these projects are going to provide a great benefit to their communities."
"The City of Franklin is very grateful to Senator Shaheen and all our federal partners for their assistance in this process," said Franklin Mayor Ken Merrifield. "The funding awarded here will aid our community in recovering a difficult site without impact to our property tax payers. I want to thank everyone who helped make this award possible."
"Without the assistance of the EPA and Senator Shaheen, it would never have been possible to have Ernie's Used Cars and Auto Repair site cleaned up," said Pat Consentino, Chairman of the Tilton Board of Selectmen. "The funds will be used for the remediation of contaminated soils, removal of hazardous materials and demolition of two dilapidated buildings. Our joint vision is to redevelop the site into downtown greenspace with riverfront access and the landing point for the "Missing Link Bridge,' connecting the multi-purpose trail between the Towns of Tilton, Northfield and the City of Franklin."
"EPA Brownfields funding helps strengthen the economic foundation of our communities, and is a proven catalyst for further growth of local economies," said Ira Leighton, deputy regional administrator of EPA New England's office. "Cleaning and revitalizing contaminated sites helps create jobs, and can help a community to create new businesses and neighborhood centers, while making our environment cleaner and the community healthier."
The EPA's Cleanup grants provide up to $200,000 to address sites contaminated by petroleum and hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants (including hazardous substances co-mingled with petroleum). For more on the program, visit http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/.