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A “brownfield” is defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as real property which the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant. These sites have the potential to negatively impact our region’s public health, natural environment, and economic opportunities. Since 1999, FRCOG has administered a Brownfields Program on behalf of the region that has conducted assessment or participated in clean-up on over 70 sites in 22 Franklin County towns.

U.S. EPA
Details

FRCOG has been awarded seven EPA environmental site assessment grants totaling $1.5 millions. The latest award of $200,000 was received in 2019 to fund assessment at sites potentially impacted by hazardous substances. Publicly or privately owned properties may be eligible for assessment under this program. FRCOG works with the EPA to determine site eligibility. No staff or contractor may go on a property without prior permission of the owner. Assessments are conducted at no cost to the property owner or the town. FRCOG member municipalities may request a site be considered by submitting a letter or email that identifies the property and describes why assessment is necessary. An assessor’s card for the site should be included with the request, along with an explanation of how the site addresses the Committee’s’ selection criteria. At this time, all funds from the 2019 assessment grant have been obligated. However, FRCOG continues to accept municipal letters of request to consider sites for the program’s waiting list. Having sites on the waiting list is helpful when applying in the future for another assessment grant or when other resources may become available.

Previously, FRCOG administered a Brownfields Clean-up Revolving Loan & Subgrant Fund through EPA awards of $1 million in 1999 and $500,000 in 2005.  The Fund provided low interest loans for clean-up of brownfield sites.  A portion of the Fund also provided subgrants to eligible towns. Properties that have benefited from the Fund included: First National Bank Building in Greenfield; the Upper Mill in Colrain; Putnam Hall in Orange; Usher Mill in Erving; Strathmore’s Building #10 Debris Pile in Turners Falls; Lunt Silversmith in Greenfield; and the Ramage Paper – Wood Structure in Monroe. The Fund was closed out in 2016. FRCOG may reapply to the EPA in the future to reestablish the Fund.

Before image of Monroe paper mill before brownfield investment.Monroe paper mill after brownfield investment.
Publications

Through the FRCOG Regional Brownfields Program and/or the Town of Erving, the following reports were completed for the Millers Falls International Paper…

The following documents are in support of a brownfields clean-up project for the former Ramage Paper Mill - Wood Structure…

Staff
Headshot of Jessica Atwood.

Jessica Atwood

Economic Development Program Manager
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Peggy Sloan headshot.

Peggy Sloan

Director of Planning & Development
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