New Bedford to receive EPA grants for planning and assessment

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — New Bedford will receive $600,000 in grants from the Environmental Protection Agency for Brownfield assessment and planning work, according to a news release from the New England Regional Office of the EPA.

The grants will provide funding for planning future development projects and assessing existing properties.

“This funding will allow the city to attract economic development and increased investments in our neighborhoods and infrastructure, directly aiding our efforts to revitalize and enhance our region,” said Congressman Bill Keating.

The Payne Cutlery neighborhood is the focus of one of the grants, which allots $200,000 for continuing planning and development efforts, including opportunities for the Dawson Brewery Brownfield site and SouthCoast Rail construction sites. The second grant provides $400,000 for city-wide evaluation, which will be used for assessing properties in the city’s Upper Harbor District.

“The City and community share a vision to redevelop this area into a Riverwalk,” the release stated, “providing the target community access to the waterfront and sparking investment in and redevelopment of underutilized mill buildings and former industrial properties.”

The funds will be used to assess these properties to begin the planning process for these developments.

The Brownfields Program, which focuses on redevelopment of contaminated and abandoned waste sites, has previously awarded New Bedford more than $4.1 million.

“These grants provide the city with much needed resources to further this administration’s focus on creating and sustaining healthier and economically thriving communities,” said New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell.

The program plans to fund $10.3 million in grants throughout New England in 2015 to promote community development, job creation and environmental protection.

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