Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro and Senator Richard Blumenthal today announced a total of $600,000 in grants from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for brownfield cleanup and assessment in central Connecticut. The City of Middletown will receive $200,000 for brownfield cleanup at the former Midstate Autobody site and the Valley Council of Governments will receive $400,000 to assess contamination levels and plan for the remediation of brownfields.
"These funds will bring new life to areas that have suffered from past industrial use. Brownfields have serious environmental and economic consequences and these funds are essential to improving our communities, bettering our citizens' quality of life and fostering economic growth," said DeLauro. "The cleanup and redevelopment plans these grants will be used for will revitalize our neighborhoods and provide a pathway for new economic development."
"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," Blumenthal said. "This commitment to funding should be matched by the resolve and resources of state and local governments to form a powerful alliance that ultimately should create jobs and economic growth."
Brownfields are typically abandoned, idle, or underused industrial or commercial properties with known or suspected contamination that deters redevelopment. Often brownfields are only miniminally contaminated, but sit idle and unused because potential developers are scared off by fears of what a soil test may reveal.
The Brownfields Program gives states and local communities the resources to assess how badly contaminated brownfield sites are and clean them up, reducing barriers for businesses seeking to revitalize the sites. The National Brownfields Coalition estimates there are between 450,000 and 1,000,000 brownfields nationally, in major cities, small towns and rural communities.