Brownfields Virtual Presentation
To better acquaint community members and stakeholders with the Stafford Brownfields Initiative, a virtual public presentation was held in conjunction with the Board of Selectmen’s Meeting on 12/15/2020. The presentation was designed to broaden understanding and involvement of the Brownfields Program, identify potential Brownfield sites within Stafford, and share adaptive, conceptual reuse scenarios for the former Earl M. Witt Intermediate School.
EPA’s Brownfields Program provides grants and technical assistance to
communities, states, tribes and others to assess, safely clean up and
sustainably reuse contaminated properties.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has selected the Town of Stafford to receive two (2) Community Wide Brownfields assessment grants. The $300,000 ($200,000 in hazardous substance sites and $100,000 in petroleum) assessment grant funds will be used to: update an inventory of potential brownfields sites in the Town; educate residents about the Brownfields program; solicit information on additional potential brownfields projects for the inventory; develop a site prioritize and selection criteria for the inventory; conduct Phase I environmental site assessments (ESAs); select sites for Phase II ESAs; and identify possible reuse and cleanup options for selected sites. Brownfield assessments are expected to encourage the cleanup of underutilized and contaminated, or potentially contaminated, properties and return them to beneficial reuse.
What is a Brownfields?
The EPA defines a brownfield site as “real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contamination.” Why is this of interest to property owners and developers? Brownfields are also development and revitalization opportunities. Common contaminants include asbestos, lead paint, hydrocarbon spillages, solvents, and pesticides. If the land is properly cleaned up and the contamination is remediated, the site can safely be used for other purposes. Cleaning up and reinvesting in these properties increases local tax bases, facilitates job growth, utilizes existing infrastructure, takes development pressures off of undeveloped, open land, and both improves and protects the environment.
Stafford Brownfields Initiative
Funds from the community-wide assessment grant will help to transform currently blighted areas within the Town of Stafford into clean public spaces that the whole community can take pride in. Through community engagement efforts, the public will gain knowledge about the brownfield sites affecting their community. These funds will allow us to identify and quantify the contaminants that exist within these brownfield sites so that they can eventually be remediated and redeveloped with additional leveraged funding. The assessment, cleanup, and redevelopment of brownfields will act as a catalyst for the area’s revitalization and lead to sustainable development of Stafford. Stafford’s overarching goals are to preserve attractiveness of the community, increase growth of employment and tax base, and improve the overall quality of life of its residents.
Assessment Grant funds are used for:
Site inventory and prioritization
Phase I & II Environmental Site Assessments
Site reuse/redevelopment planning
Town of Stafford Brownfield Program goals:
Return vacant or underutilized properties into productive reuse
Protect human and environmental health
Increase tax base
Spur job growth
Create usable greenspace
Leverage additional resources
For Businesses & Developers
If you are looking to conduct any of these activities at a property in Stafford, this program is here for you. Most financial lenders require an ASTM Phase I ESA to be conducted prior to securing a loan. The Town’s Brownfields Program can walk you through this process and may be able to conduct these Phase I/Phase II and/or Hazardous Building Material Assessments for you.
The Town can also assist with cleanup and reuse planning, if needed, following the outcome of the Phase I/Phase II ESAs and/or Hazardous Building Material Assessments. The services the Town can provide can save property owners and developers anywhere from $5,000 to over $50,000. These services can also help remove the stigma and uncertainties of contamination often associated with brownfields that hinder the revitalization of these properties. Funds are intended to kick-start and assist in the redevelopment process.
Some of the significant benefits of this program for the community and private property owners include:
Help transform blighted sites in neighborhoods.
Encourage higher property values, create jobs, positively impact the local economy, and create safer, healthier places for us to live, work, and play.
Help remove the stigma and unknowns associated with these properties to make them more marketable sand facilitate redevelopment.
Provide due diligence assistance to potential purchasers of Brownfields sites.
Opportunity to apply for state tax credits for property cleanup
The Town selected the team of Weston & Sampson Engineers, Inc. to work with Stafford to implement the Brownfields program, perform community-wide education and outreach, as well as inventory, site assessment and cleanup/reuse planning activities.
The Town of Stafford is asking the community, local businesses and residents for input on the brownfields sites in the community that they are concerned about and would like to see considered as part of the assessment and cleanup / reuse planning process.
At various stages of the assessment process, the Town may sponsor community meetings to discuss the project and present findings to the public and solicit input. Notices will be posted on our website in advance of the meetings, and announcements will be emailed to residents and other interested parties. In addition, an information repository will be set up at the Town Hall, where residents and members of the public will have access to documents pertaining to the selected site, including Phase I and Phase II reports.
The Town will maintain a mailing list of residents and the community stakeholders wishing to receive email updates on the grant related brownfields activities. The Town will distribute periodic updates summarizing completed and planned site activities. This mailing list will also be used to notify the public of any upcoming community meetings.
To learn more about property eligibility, contact Amber Wakley at (860) 851-8102 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Though this program has been funded, wholly or in part, by EPA, the contents of this document do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the EPA.