Brownfields Cleanup Grants Awarded
The NHDES Waste Management Division is pleased to announce the recipients of our 2020 Brownfields Cleanup Grants. NHDES awarded grants to the City of Concord and the City of Somersworth to facilitate the removal of hazardous building materials at two underutilized properties. The cleanups provide an environmental benefit while preparing the sites for planned redevelopment expected to lead to economic and socioeconomic benefits within these New Hampshire communities.
The City of Concord was awarded a grant for the former New Hampshire Employment Security Property. This project focuses on addressing hazardous building materials, primarily asbestos and universal wastes, in the existing site building in an effort to make it more attractive to developers whether they choose to reuse the building or demolish it. The City has been working diligently to market the property for redevelopment since they acquired it in 2014. NHDES awarded a grant of $172,500 toward the overall estimated cleanup cost of $345,000, the balance of which will be contributed by the City.
NHDES awarded the City of Somersworth $97,450 to address hazardous building materials at the former Somersworth Police Station. This building is located just off the main route through Somersworth and is integral to the revitalization of their downtown area. The City indicated in their application that several developers had inquired about the property and building but were not interested until the hazardous building materials had been addressed. At the time of application, sale of the property was not imminent but the City more recently indicated there were some potential prospects.
Funds for these grants were made available from the Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund (RLF), which provides financial support for the cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated properties. Program income from this RLF was utilized to make these funds available in an effort to clean up Brownfield sites and position these properties for redevelopment. NHDES anticipates making cleanup funds available again in 2022 for similar opportunities.
In addition to issuing these grants, NHDES’ Brownfields Program has been working statewide through partnerships with EPA, regional planning commissions (RPCs), and local municipalities on a variety of cleanup and assessment projects. During 2020, seven of the nine RPCs were awarded, or had existing assessment grants through EPA. NHDES Brownfields staff work as liaisons with New Hampshire grantees to help maximize the effectiveness of their grant dollars and the success of their efforts. Of these grantees, several have reapplied to EPA to be considered for 2021 funding. Others are in the midst of completing their assessment activities.
The Strafford Regional Planning Commission (SRPC), for example, is accepting site nominations for assessment and/or cleanup planning under their current EPA Brownfields Assessment Grant, which runs through September 2022. The targeted area for this grant is the Route 125 corridor from Rochester to Wakefield, but projects in all 18 SRPC communities will be considered for assessment under this grant or could form the focus area of a future assessment grant application. To add your project to SRPC’s inventory, please contact James Burdin at [email protected]. If you are outside the SRPC area, but are interested in a Brownfields assessment, contact your regional planning commission to learn if they currently have assessment funding available.