Press Releases

Congresswoman Lori Trahan Applauds $800,000 in EPA Funding for Lawrence and Lowell Brownfield Cleanups

LOWELL, MA - Today, Congresswoman Lori Trahan (MA-03) applauded the announcement of $800,000 in U.S. Environmental Protection Agency funding to assess and clean up contaminated properties in Lawrence and Lowell under the agency's Brownfields Program. The funding comes as part of a larger disbursement of $2.7 million for projects across Massachusetts.

"I am thrilled that Lawrence and Lowell are receiving these vital environmental grants to help revitalize vacant sites and continue economic revitalization. This funding will help remove hazardous materials and support critical cleanup efforts, catalyzing our gateway cities' next decade of industrial resurgence and job creation,"said Congresswoman Lori Trahan.

The Massachusetts based grantees are among 155 grants that will be awarded for communities and tribes totaling over $65.6 million in EPA Brownfields funding the agency's Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup Grant Programs. These funds will aid under-served and economically disadvantaged communities, including neighborhoods located in Opportunity Zones, in assessing and cleaning up abandoned industrial and commercial properties. An Opportunity Zone is an economically-distressed community where new investment, under certain conditions, may be eligible for preferential tax treatment. Of the 151 total communities selected, 118 of these communities can potentially assess or clean up brownfield sites in census tracts designated in these zones. In addition, nearly 30% of the communities selected today will receive brownfields funding for the first time.

"COVID 19 has impacted the economy and redevelopment in every corner of this New England. Today's investment of EPA Brownfields assessment and cleanup funding provides a much-needed boost for economic development and job creation in many of New England's hardest hit and underserved communities," said EPA New England Regional Administrator Dennis Deziel. "Brownfields projects are always an economic catalyst, and this funding has never been more important to our local partners."

The City of Lawrence will be awarded a $500,000 Brownfields Cleanup Grant to clean up Lot 2 of the Tombarello Site located at 207 Marston Street. The cleanup site was formerly a scrap metal recycling facility, and parts of the site were previously used as a soap manufacturing facility and a truck driving school. The site is contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, metals, and PCBs. Grant funds also will be used to support community outreach activities. The site is located within a Qualified Opportunity Zone.


"I want to thank the EPA, as well as the Lawrence Federal Delegation Congresswoman Trahan and Senators Markey and Warren for their commitment to investment in Lawrence," said Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera. "These EPA Brownfields funds will go a long way in transforming a blighted property into a site for economic development in the City of Lawrence."

The City of Lowell will be awarded a $300,000 Assessment Grant to conduct environmental site assessments, develop cleanup plans, and support reuse planning and community outreach activities for various sites to be selected throughout the grant to develop an area-wide plan. Assessment activities will focus on Ayer's City Industrial Park, a historically mixed-use industrial and residential district. Priority sites include the Lowell Iron and Steel property and the Lowell Used Auto Parts property.

"The Environmental Protection Agency's Brownfields Program has proven to be an invaluable tool to the City of Lowell in the renewal of former industrial sites burdened by environmental contamination issues," said Lowell City Manager Eileen Donoghue. "The City's receipt of this Brownfields Assessment Grant will enable the continuation of our productive partnership with the EPA and will advance the City's revitalization efforts in the Ayer's City Industrial Park. We are grateful for the EPA's support of this high-impact, transformative project."


Background on the EPA Brownfields Program


In New England, since the beginning of the Brownfields program, EPA has awarded $123 million in assessment grant funding, $112 million in revolving loan fund grants and supplemental funding and $82 million in cleanup grant funding. These grant funds have paved the way for more than $3.62 billion in public and private cleanup and redevelopment investment and for over 22,600 jobs in assessment, cleanup, construction and redevelopment.

Grants awarded by EPA's Brownfields Program provide communities across the country with an opportunity to transform contaminated sites into community assets that attract jobs and achieve broader economic development outcomes, while taking advantage of existing infrastructure. For example, brownfields grants are shown to:


  • Increase Local Tax Revenue: A study of 48 brownfields sites found that an estimated $29 million to $97 million in additional local tax revenue was generated in a single year after cleanup. This is two to seven times more than the $12.4 million EPA contributed to the cleanup of these sites.
  • Increase Residential Property Values: Another study found that property values of homes near revitalized brownfields sites increased between 5 and 15 percent following cleanup.

A brownfield is a property for which the expansion, redevelopment or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant. There are estimated to be more than 450,000 brownfields in the United States. EPA's Brownfields Program began in 1995 and has provided nearly $1.6 billion in brownfield grants to assess and clean up contaminated properties and return blighted properties to productive reuse. To date, brownfields investments have leveraged more than $31 billion in cleanup and redevelopment.