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EPA Brownfields Program

EPA's Brownfields Program empowers states, communities, and other stakeholders to work together to prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse brownfields. A brownfield site is real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. On January 11, 2002, President George W. Bush signed into law the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act. Under the Brownfields Law, EPA provides financial assistance to eligible applicants through four competitive grant programs: assessment grants, revolving loan fund grants, cleanup grants, and job training grants. Additionally, funding support is provided to state and tribal response programs through a separate mechanism.

Cleanup Grant

$50,500 for hazardous substances

EPA has selected the City of Fitchburg for a brownfields cleanup grant. Hazardous substances grant funds will be used to clean up the two-acre Central Steam Plant Facility located at 465 Westminster Street. Built in 1928, the plant provided steam and electricity to several paper mills along the North Nashua River. Site soil and groundwater are contaminated with metals and inorganic contaminants. Grant funds also will be used to support community involvement activities.

Community Description

The City of Fitchburg was selected to receive a brownfields cleanup grant. Located in northern Worcester County, Fitchburg (population 40,050) is a city dominated by many old mill buildings and industrial sites dating back to the 1800s. These sites, once the center of industry, growth, and wealth in the community, have become brownfields. As Fitchburg's economy has declined, the city has not kept pace with the economic diversification in the rest of the state. It has an unemployment rate of about eight percent, and about 12 percent of the city's families live below the poverty level. Cleanup of the Central Steam Plant Facility is expected to prevent future discharges of contaminated substances into the North Nashua River and remove a substantial barrier to the site's redevelopment and productive use. The city recently completed the development of a 0.5-mile-long recreational trail along the North Nashua River and next to the Central Steam Plant Facility. Site cleanup is expected to make the new trail more appealing and environmentally safe for users.


For further information, including specific grant contacts, additional grant information, brownfields news and events, and publications and links, visit the EPA Brownfields Web site (http://www.epa.gov/brownfields).

EPA Region 1 Brownfields Team
(617) 918-1424
EPA Region 1 Brownfields Web site (http://www.epa.gov/region1/brownfields)

Grant Recipient: City of Fitchburg, MA
(978) 345-1018

The information presented in this fact sheet comes from the grant proposal; EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of this information. The cooperative agreement for the grant has not yet been negotiated. Therefore, activities described in this fact sheet are subject to change.

EPA 560-F-08-011
March 2008
United States
Protection Agency
Washington, D.C. 20460
Land and
Management (5105T)

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