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  • 19 Apr 2017 2:05 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a $200,000 Brownfields area-wide planning grant today to the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Harrisburg to help plan for health, environmental and economic improvements for the city’s Allison Hill section.

    “This area-wide planning approach sparks the kind of economic development that meets the needs of neighborhoods, and leads to vibrant communities,” said acting EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Cecil Rodrigues, speaking at a press conference at the Hamilton Health Center. “We know that revitalization works best when local communities are directly involved in the process.”

    In 2010, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) used EPA Brownfields funds to clean up a large vacant parcel of land that was once Allison Hill Automotive where the Hamilton Hill Health Center now stands. This property is adjacent to the target area for the new Area Wide Planning grant. The cleanup consisted of removing buildings contaminated with asbestos, and underground storage tanks, as well as treating contaminated soil and groundwater. 

    With this new EPA funding, the Redevelopment Authority will collaborate with partners to plan the cleanup, as well as the revitalization, and infrastructure upgrades that are necessary for neighborhood revitalization. The partners include: PADEP; the City of Harrisburg; the Harrisburg School District; Hamilton Health Center; and, numerous community based organizations such as Tri-County Community Action, and YWCA of Greater Harrisburg.

    "Along with the City of Harrisburg, we are extremely grateful for our long list of community partners,” said Bryan Davis, Executive Director for the Redevelopment Authority. “This EPA funding is crucial to our goals of protecting the health of South Allison Hill’s families, especially the children – while simultaneously removing barriers to economic development and neighborhood improvements that enhance our quality of life.”

    Since the federal brownfields law was passed in 2001, EPA’s brownfields program has assessed and cleaned up thousands of contaminated brownfields sites, returning more than 66,000 acres of land to productive reuse nationwide. The program has created or retained more than 122,000 jobs and leveraged more than $23.7 billion in redevelopment investment in brownfields communities.

    In Pennsylvania, EPA has awarded $66 million in brownfields funding that has been used for assessing nearly 1,000 sites and cleaning up 60.

    For more information on the grant recipients:

  • 11 Apr 2017 4:20 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    by Michaelle Bond, Philadelphia Inquirer (PA)

    Asleep after a long day at her social-work job, Peggy Miros was jolted awake by a booming voice through a loudspeaker urging her and her neighbors to evacuate their homes.

    A cloud of toxic gas had formed when chemicals accidentally combined at the steel tube manufacturer next to her housing development in East Whiteland Township, Chester County, in the early morning hours of June 9, 1981.

    The EPA later found trichloroethylene (TCE), a degreasing agent linked to cancer, in the property's groundwater. The former Bishop Tube Co. site, which produced stainless steel tubes from the 1950s until 1999, now is host to graffitied and dilapidated buildings, shattered windows, cracked concrete, and overgrown vegetation, one of more than 450,000 contaminated “brownfields” across the nation.

    For the entire article, see
  • 05 Apr 2017 2:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    by Katrina Courting, Danbury News-Times (CT)

    President Donald Trump has proposed sharp cuts to the federal agency that helps turn brownfields into productive properties, but Connecticut officials say that won’t keep the state from pressing forward with its own brownfield programs.

    Connecticut has about 1,000 brownfields: properties that are blighted, vacant or underutilized but ripe for cleanup and redevelopment. 

    Most brownfield efforts are undertaken by private owners or by municipalities. In Connecticut, the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection oversees the regulatory components of any needed cleanup while the state Department of Economic and Community Development handles funding and redevelopment.

    For the entire article, see

  • 03 Apr 2017 10:51 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    by Robert Harding, Auburn Citizen (NY)

    As President Donald Trump seeks to slash funding for the Environmental Protection Agency's Brownfields program, U.S. Rep. John Katko wants to preserve the initiative - and fund it at higher levels than it receives now. 

    Katko, R-Camillus, and U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty, a Connecticut Democrat, unveiled legislation Thursday that reauthorizes the Brownfields program, which technically expired in 2006, through fiscal year 2022. The members of Congress also want $250 million a year to fund the program and increase the cleanup grant amounts from $200,000 to $600,000. 

    The bill would also expand eligibility to include community development organizations, limited liability corporations and nonprofits. 

    For the entire article, see

  • 03 Apr 2017 10:47 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    >by Sabrina Meriano, Seacoast Online (NH)

    Tropic Star LLC, owner/developer of 31 Route 108, is in the midst of developing the property into a gas station/convenience store. However, the lot is currently classified as a Brownfield site with environmental contaminants that need to be dealt with before it can be redeveloped.

    Tropic Star filed a remedial action plan, or RAP, with the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services to address the issue.

    Environmental investigations identified the soils on the property, as well as part of a Department of Transportation right-of-way, as being impacted by hydrocarbons similar to coal tar. This could be the result of the site having been used for auto repair businesses from the late 1960s up until approximately 2001.


    For the entire article, see

  • 02 Mar 2017 2:17 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    by Joseph Bebon, Solar Industry

    Renewable energy company Soltage LLC and independent power producer Tenaska have completed a 3.68 MW ground-mounted solar project in Billerica, Mass.

    According to the companies, the project is located on a brownfield site and will generate 4,445 MWh of clean energy annually for four school systems and one local government through 20-year virtual net-metering credit agreements. Project off-takers include the Town of Barre, Mass.; the Tantasqua Regional School District; the Wachusetts Regional School District; the Ralph Mahar Regional School District; and the Petersham Center School.

    The project is located on a 553-acre brownfield industrial complex that included manufacturing and rail yard maintenance facilities, open storage areas, landfills, and former wastewater lagoons surrounded by residential properties and wetlands.


    For the entire article, see

  • 02 Mar 2017 2:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    by Josephine Mendez, Huntington Herald-Dispatch (WV)  

    Plans for how the city of Huntington can transform three post-industrial brownfield properties into usable and productive space were unveiled to the public Tuesday night during an open house at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena Conference Center.

    The proposed plans include the addition of a baseball field, residential units, a hotel and space for offices and commercial development in an area that encompasses 27th Street to 20th Street between 3rd Avenue and the Ohio River and includes the former Ingram Barge, the McGinnis property and the ACF complex.

    These plans are the culmination of a year-long community planning process that has involved interactive workshops and other public outreach initiatives to collect input from residents, which has been the first step in the city's Brownfields Planning and Redevelopment Project.


    For the entire article, see

  • 02 Mar 2017 1:50 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    BCONE Board member Larry Schapf and the Executive Director, Sue Boyle, provided insight to BNA for this article on the proposed budget cuts to the USEPA.

    March 1, 2017 7:18PM ET

    • Proposal would gut more than 20 grants and programs

    • Suggested cuts contingent on EPA, congressional approval

    • Proposal appears to contradict Pruitt, Trump's priorities for local economies, state authority

    By Sylvia Carignan

    (BNA) -- Environmental activists and former EPA staffers are shocked about proposed deep cuts to the agency's grants to states and skeptical those cuts can survive congressional scrutiny, while some Republicans say reining in EPA's budget is necessary.

    Under a proposal from the Office of Management and Budget that circulated March 1 among environmental activists and associations, the Environmental Protection Agency could cut its grants to states by 30 percent in fiscal year 2018, putting about 20 grants on the chopping block.

    The cuts are subject to congressional approval. The EPA has one day, March 1, to protest the suggestions.

    Bill Becker, executive director of the National Association of Clean Air Agencies, sent an email to members March 1 about the proposed cuts.

    The EPA has not verified the information in the email and has not provided responses to Bloomberg BNA's questions about the budget.

    The proposal identified at least 22 grants and programs that would not be funded in fiscal year 2018, including those for the agency's Brownfields program, Energy Star, environmental justice, climate change research and health research.

    The budget proposal also includes a 20 percent cut in EPA staff. The EPA's overall budget could be cut by 25 percent.

    Contradicting Pruitt's Promise

    “What people don't understand is a substantial portion of EPA resources go either directly to states, or what's technically called STAG,” the agency's State and Tribal Assistance Grants, said Mathy Stanislaus, former assistant administrator for the EPA's Office of Land and Emergency Management.

    Those grants have been the largest part of EPA's budget request in past years. They formed about 40 percent of the agency's fiscal year 2016 and 2017 budgets. About $3.3 billion of EPA's fiscal year 2017 budget was allocated for STAG.

    The grants help states and tribes comply with EPA regulations and fund environmental projects. But the cuts contradict EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's promise to place more control in states’ hands, Becker said.

    “We were expecting state grant programs were going to increase,” he told Bloomberg BNA. “Now we just have no idea what Congress is going to do.”

    Gutting Brownfields Funding

    Stanislaus said the decision to cut Brownfields grants doesn't align with Pruitt's or President Donald Trump's priorities.

    “This does not make any sense,” he told Bloomberg BNA. “The Brownfields program is one of those programs that provides resources for local communities for economic development.”

    The Brownfields program is currently funded at $80 million, though President Barack Obama asked for the program to get an additional $10 million in his most recent request. According to Becker's email, Brownfields grants would be cut to zero in fiscal year 2018.

    Sue Boyle, head of the New Jersey Licensed Site Remediation Professional Association, said local officials are trying to figure out what that could mean for them.

    “Everybody in my line of work has been trying to read the tea leaves,” she said.

    In New Jersey, state-offered brownfields grants outnumber federal ones, she said. Cutting federal money may persuade grantees to seek grants at the state level.

    “There are going to be states where the state programs are utilized even more than they were,” if federal funding is slashed, she said.

    Larry Schnapf, chair of the Environmental Law section of the New York State Bar Association, said he doesn't think the federal brownfieldscuts will make it through Congress. Cutting brownfields grants, which have enjoyed bipartisan support in past years, is “contrary to 20 years of federal policy,” he said.

    “I just think this is budget cutters that are just looking for areas to trim, and I think there will be significant opposition,” Schnapf said.

    Gone for Good?

    Some of the programs listed have been left off past Democratic- and Republican-proposed budgets. In some cases, the agency cuts back on certain programs with the expectation that Congress will boost the numbers in the appropriations process. The popular clean water and drinking water state revolving funds, grants to state-run loan programs for rebuilding old water systems, are one example.

    But Becker doesn't think Congress will revive the programs targeted in the budget document.

    “You don't play games with that, especially in a budget period when there's going to be immense competition among budget programs,” he said. “I don't think they're playing that game assuming that Congress is going to fund programs.”

    Tom Cole (R-Okla.), a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior Environment and Related Agencies, is concerned about some of the proposed EPA-wide cuts.

    “When you're talking about cuts of that magnitude, you really are going to make (a) tremendous difference,” he said.

    But Hal Rogers, (R-Ky.), a House Appropriations member and former chairman, said the agency still has fat to trim.

    “I think EPA could stand the cuts. We've cut them back to 1989 staffing levels, but I still think they've been overextending their authority, even all the while,” Rogers said.

    Marked for Cuts

    Several of the programs on the list, including the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act grant program, were also targeted for funding cuts or elimination under the Obama administration.

    Congress generally rejected Obama's proposed cuts to popular environmental grant programs, and in some cases, provided additional funding.

    The DERA program, which funds projects to upgrade or replace older, higher-emitting diesel engines, is one of the EPA programs that saw its funding levels increase in recent years. The program's current annual funding level is $50 million, compared to $20 million in both fiscal 2013 and 2014.

    Pruitt has indicated support for the DERA program. He said in a Feb. 24 statement announcing the grant that the EPA was “thrilled” to provide a $1 million grant to Alabama that will be used to replace a diesel-powered ferry with a 100 percent electric ferry.

    “This is a tremendous example of how EPA collaboration with state partners can produce environmental as well as economic benefits,” Pruitt said. “These grants provide not only environmental and health benefits by eliminating exposure to diesel exhaust, but cost-effectiveness as well.”

    Reliance on Federal Funds

    The Association of Clean Water Administrators, which represents state and interstate water pollution agencies, hasn't been able to verify the cuts, but told Bloomberg BNA that their members rely heavily on state and tribal grants. For instance, the Clean Water Act's Section 319 grants are used to address nonpoint sources of pollution, such as agricultural runoff containing nitrogen and phosphorus that cause algae blooms and subsequent fish kills.

    “Robust STAG funding is essential to implementation of environmental programs delegated to states, and significant cuts to state funding would seem to counter the messaging from the administration that states and EPA ‘are partners’ in carrying out the work of protecting public health and the environment,” Julia Anastasio, the association's executive director and general counsel, said when asked about the impact of the cuts.

    The largest chunk of the state and tribal grants includes money for the state revolving funds for drinking water and clean water programs that provide a combination of low-interest loans and grants to municipalities to repair, rehabilitate and rebuild aging water infrastructure.

    Pruitt told Bloomberg BNA he has been quietly pushing the White House to set aside funding for water infrastructure, but it is unclear how much of a priority that will be for the agency.

    Ironically, Trump pledged during his campaign and after his election to triple these funds to the levels enacted in 2009 in his quest to improve and rebuild the nation's crumbling infrastructure.

    In prior years, the Obama administration has proposed to zero out grants to monitor water quality at beaches, but Congress has always restored it during the appropriations process.

    It is unclear, however, whether the Trump administration is proposing cuts to the beach grants program or some other research program within the EPA.

    A year ago, Obama requested about $9.6 million in his fiscal 2017 budget to improve the water quality in the Long Island Sound in New York, Lake Champlain in Vermont, San Francisco Bay and South Florida. Congress, in response, appropriated $14.8 million for all three programs.

    Little Change for Chemicals

    Lynn Bergeson, managing partner of Bergeson & Campbell PC, a Washington, D.C.-based law firm that specializes in chemical and pesticide regulations, told Bloomberg BNA this is good news for the EPA's Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Office, which oversees both chemicals and pesticides.

    The OMB did not recommend any cuts to either the chemicals or pesticides offices, she said.

    That gives the EPA flexibility. Given the Trump administration's priorities, the agency could choose surgical cuts in the budgets and staff within the air and water offices, while ensuring the chemicals and pesticides program have the resources they need to function, Bergeson said.

    Both the chemicals and pesticides office are starved for staff right now, given the attrition that occurs at the end of every administration, she said.

    Cuts in the chemicals program are not sustainable if the EPA is to deliver the enhanced chemical oversight Republicans and Democrats approved when they amended the Toxic Substances Control Act in 2016, Bergeson said.

    Jack Pratt, chemicals campaign director at the Environmental Defense Fund, told Bloomberg BNA: “You can't burn down my house and still expect me to cook dinner just because the kitchen's still standing.”

    “These type of drastic funding cuts would hobble the agency across the board and would be certain to affect every program, even the ones not specifically targeted,” Pratt said.

    But he said a lot of work remains ahead.

    “We are hopeful that the more responsible voices on both sides of the aisle will see this for what it is: a press release budget that might play well in certain circles, but will be dead on arrival in Congress,” he said.

    —With assistance from Patrick Ambrosio, Brian Dabbs, Pat Rizzuto, Amena Saiyid and Tiffany Stecker.

    To contact the reporter on this story: Sylvia Carignan in Washington at

    To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Pearl at

    Daily Environment Report

  • 22 Feb 2017 1:11 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    by Janice Steinhagen, Hartford Courant (CT)

    Sprague officials welcomed news that one of two separate grant applications for brownfield remediation at Baltic Mill had been approved by the state.

    Gov. Dannel Malloy announced Feb. 14 that Sprague would be receiving a $2 million grant to "abate, demolish, and remediate" the 16-acre site of a former textile mill.

    "This property at the heart of our town has the potential to have an extremely positive impact on our community, and I am very pleased that the state continues to see the merit in helping towns revitalize former mill sites," said Sen. Cathy Osten, who is also the first selectman of Sprague. "This project will not only improve the aesthetics of our town for those who reside here, but will spur economic and social growth along our stretch of the Shetucket River."


    For the entire article, see
  • 20 Feb 2017 3:54 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    BCONE recently provided a letter of support and commitment agreement for Bergen Community College's application under the Environmental Protection Agency's Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training grant program. You can view a copy of the letter that was submitted by clicking here.

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