Capuano, Kennedy and Kerry Hail $500,000 for Environmental Cleanups in Somerville

May 27, 1999 -- Congressman Mike Capuano, Senator Edward M. Kennedy and Senator John Kerry hailed $500,000 in federal funding to clean up abandoned industrial sites in Somerville. This will create jobs and economic opportunities while eliminating environmental hazards. Somerville will target 112 brownfields, concentrated largely in the older industrial areas of the city.

"The old Bay State Smelting site in Somerville, a former brownfield, is currently being transformed into recreational space, thanks in part, to federal funding. This latest grant award will allow the city to continue the strides that have been made in cleaning up contaminated sites, returning the land to active use and protecting the environment for future generations," stated Rep. Capuano, whose 8th district includes Somerville.

Senator Kennedy said, "Somerville is at the forefront of the effort to clean up these contaminated sites and restore them to productive uses for the future. It's sound environmental policy and sound economic policy and I'm proud of Massachusetts' leadership on these important initiatives."

"This grant will enable Somerville to create a cleaner and healthier environment for its residents," stated Kerry, "In addition, these funds will help expand its local tax base and create jobs by converting abandoned and vacant properties into revitalized businesses."

A brownfield is a site that is contaminated by hazardous substances but do not pose a serious enough public health risk to warrant cleanup under the Superfund program. EPA's Brownfields Economic Redevelopment Initiative is designed to empower communities to work together to prevent, assess, safely clean up and productively reuse brownfields. Since 1995, EPA has funded more that 200 Brownfields Assessment Demonstration Pilots.