The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is awarding a total of $2 million of brownfields assessment and cleanup funding to towns and non-profits throughout the state of Vermont. In addition to the federal grants, the state government has selected three communities to be included in the Brownfield Economic Revitalization Alliance, or BERA program.
Announce the grants, Curt Spalding the regional administrator of the federal agency's New England office, says that the "EPA is proud to further assist Vermont and its citizens with this Brownfield funding.
Cleaning and revitalizing contaminated sites helps create jobs, and can be the catalyst to create new businesses or village centers, all while making our environment cleaner and the community healthier," adding that "this is just one way EPA works to make a difference in communities all across New England."
The state of Vermont's BERA program is a collaborative effort between the Agency of Commerce and Community Development, the Agency of Natural Resources, and the Agency of Transportation to help complete brownfield redevelopment endeavors as quickly as possible, and to make sure the communities take full advantage of their revitalized town center. They achieve this goal by facilitating solid communication between organizations across all levels of government, and streamlining the permit process.
Brownfields are typically low enough quality land that real estate investors shy away from the, making it difficult to get the ball rolling on development. Concentrated restoration efforts, however, can turn the quality of the land around and ready them for development.
Local governments should work with environmental consultants to ensure that brownfields are being revitalized properly.