N.H. Groups Split $1 Million In Brownfield Grants

Jul 10, 2013

The site of an old Tannery in Penacook served as the backdrop for the announcement of the grant money. This site is already slated for clean-up and redevelopment. Other, similar sites will get a boost through this program
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

The EPA has given the state of New Hampshire $1 million dollars to help clean up contaminated industrial sites, or brownfields. The Capitol Region Economic Development Council received $800,000 dollars for it’s a revolving loan fund that helps developers clean up brownfields. The remaining $200,000 goes to the Lakes Region Planning Commission for assessments of sites in need of clean-up.

There are ten regions vying for brownfield grants, but New England tends to win a disproportionate share of the $70 million available. This year it was 17 percent of that cash, and some years it’s even more.

“We get more than our share,” says head of EPA in New England Curt Spaulding, “that’s because of the work New England communities put into getting these grants.”

Often those grants go other New England states, but not this year.

The money in the revolving loans could help finance several clean-ups at once. “There are many sites where $500,000, $200,000 or even a $100,000 could be enough to do the cleanup and get the site ready for redevelopment,” says Michael Wimsatt director of the Waste Management Division at New Hampshire’s Department of Environmental Services.

Wimsatt says there are many brownfield sites all over the state, and dozens in some communities.