Press Release

Welch Applauds Biden-Harris Administration’s $6.4 Million Investment to Rehabilitate and Revitalize Communities with Brownfield Grants

May 22, 2024

EPA Grants Funded by Bipartisan Infrastructure Law 

WASHINGTON, D.C.Senator Peter Welch (D-Vt.) today celebrated the Biden-Harris Administration and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s announcement that Vermont has received $6,390,000 in grants to clean up brownfield sites in the state, spur economic revitalization, and advance environmental justice. 

Grant recipients in Vermont include Springfield Medical Care Systems, Inc. in Springfield, which has been awarded $1.89 million; the Town of St. Johnsbury has been awarded $1 million; and the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development has been selected to receive $3.5 million. 

“These investments by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Biden-Harris Administration, which were made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will put clean-up and revitalization projects in motion and play a key role in strengthening the economic wellbeing of underserved communities in Vermont,” said Sen. Welch. “I’m pleased to see this funding coming back to our state, and look forward to watching this redevelopment transform our communities.” 

“Far too many communities across America have suffered the harmful economic and health consequences of living near polluted brownfield sites,” said President Joe Biden. “I’ve long believed that people who’ve borne the burden of pollution should be the first to see the benefits of new investment. Under my Administration, we are making that a reality by ensuring the historic resources from my Investing in America agenda reach communities that need it most. I am proud that my Administration is helping Philadelphia clean up and transform this area into an economic engine, while tackling a longstanding environmental injustice and creating good-paying jobs.” 

“President Biden sees contaminated sites and blighted areas as an opportunity to invest in healthier, revitalized communities,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “That’s why he secured historic funding under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, supercharging EPA’s Brownfields program to clean up contaminated properties in overburdened communities and bring them back into productive use.” 

“Brownfields grants are gamechangers—they turn polluted, abandoned sites into thriving community spaces. This isn’t just about cleaning up the environment; it’s about revitalizing neighborhoods, creating good jobs, and ensuring healthier living for everyone—it’s a win-win-win-win-win-win,” said EPA Regional Administrator David W. Cash. “This additional funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is helping to transform contaminated properties into valuable community assets, making a real difference for Vermont families, especially in the areas that need it most.” 

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which Senator Welch helped pass as a member of the House of Representatives, boosted the EPA’s Brownfields Program with $1.5 billion to help more communities clean up the environment for the next generation and stimulate economic growth. 

As outlined by the EPA, the following organizations in Vermont have been selected to receive EPA Brownfields funding through the Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup (MAC) Grant Programs: 

  • Springfield Medical Care Systems, Inc., VT has been selected to receive $1,890,000 for a Brownfields Cleanup Grant funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Grant funds will be used to clean up the Edgar May Health and Recreation Center located at 140 Clinton Street in the City of Springfield, VT. The 1.6-acre cleanup site was used for manufacturing, including the founding, machining, and painting of machine parts, for over 50 years. It is contaminated with PCBs, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, and benzene. Grant funds also will be used to prepare a Community Involvement Plan and cleanup plans, and conduct community engagement activities. 
  • Town of St. Johnsbury has been selected to receive $1 million for a Brownfields Multipurpose Grant funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Priority sites include the Public Works Yard and Municipal Forest, which was previously used for logging activities; the True Temper Factory, a former wooden dowel manufacturing facility; the Salvage Yard, a vacant lot containing old tires, machinery, and automobiles; and the Ames Building, a vacant 33,000 square-foot commercial building built in the 1900s. Grant funds will be used to conduct two Phase I and three Phase II environmental site assessments and develop cleanup plans for the Public Works Yard, Salvage Yard, and Ames Building site. Grant funds also will be used to conduct cleanup activities at the True Temper and Public Works Yard sites. The target area for this project is the Summerville District. 
  • Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development has been selected to receive $3.5 million through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, in addition to the $6,567,850 in EPA funds already awarded, because it has a high-performing RLF program with significantly depleted funds. The RLF program has successfully made loans or subgrants leading to 41 cleanup projects that are either completed or in progress. Potential projects highlighted for use of the BIL funding include the Catamount Arts Hub in St. Johnsbury and the former J & L Plant in Springfield. The Catamount Arts Hub redevelopment will result in the expansion of the facility into a creative economy hub and will reuse historic structures. The former J & L Plant will be redeveloped into greenspace and connect with an active bike and pedestrian trail system and also provide access to the Black River. The BIL funding will extend the capacity of the program to provide funding for more cleanups in the most underserved areas in the state of Vermont. 

The EPA has selected these organizations to receive funding to address and support the reuse of brownfield sites to address the health, economic, social, and environmental challenges caused by brownfields. EPA’s Brownfields Program began in 1995 and has provided nearly $2.7 billion in Brownfield Grants to assess and clean up contaminated properties and return blighted properties to productive use.  

Read the full announcement here