By Brent Addleman | The Center Square
The state has begun the remediation process for 10 brownfield sites across the state.
Gov. Phil Scott announced in a news release that Vermont has committed $7 million through the Agency of Commerce and Community Development and the Agency of Natural Resources toward the $25 million appropriated to clean up brownfield sites across the state.
“I strongly advocated for this funding in my budget because we knew there was a backlog of brownfield sites ready to be cleaned up, but they didn’t have the funding to make it happen,” Scott said in the release. “It is encouraging to see millions of dollars being committed so quickly to clean up these properties and return them to productive use. The economic and environmental impact these projects have on our downtowns and rural villages will be transformational for Vermont communities.”
The funding represents the first time that state dollars are being used to clean up brownfield sites, as the state relied in the past on the Environmental Protection Agency.
Brownfield sites are land that contain contaminants from previous industrial sites that may hinder future redevelopment. The contaminants must be removed from the site before the land can be reappropriated.
Funding for cleanup of brownfield sites was made possible with the June 8 passage of Act 74. The measure provided appropriations to the state government for FY22, providing for grant funding, operating expenses, and wages for third-party contractors.
The measure, according to the release, created the Brownfields Revitalization Fund and allocated $11 million into the fund. Since the Act was passed more than $1.7 million into the fund which was committed to eight projects that created more than 200 jobs.
“We are thrilled with the demand we are seeing for funding to support these important projects around the state,” said Department of Economic Development Commissioner Joan Goldstein in the release. “These projects are creating new spaces for businesses to grow, much needed new housing units for the state’s workforce, and even new recreational opportunities for Vermonters and visitors alike. With additional projects already in the queue for approval, we look forward to continuing to support the redevelopment of these sites.”
Among the projects already receiving $4.5 million funding are the former Fonda Container Company site in St. Albans and the Jones and Lamson site in Springfield.