Brownfields

STAFF:  susan Westa

WRC Brownfields Committee: click here

WRC Brownfields Meeting Schedule 2021: click here

Brownfields are land and buildings whose expansion, redevelopment, or reuse
may be complicated by the presence or potential presence
of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.

The Windham Region Brownfields Reuse Initiative (WRBRI) was established in 2000 with funding from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Since that time we have been working hard to promote vibrant communities by facilitating brownfields redevelopment.  

All together this funding has brought a total of $4.72 million dollars in federal brownfields funds to the region for assessment and cleanup of brownfields sites. This successful program has been instrumental in helping revitalize former industrial and commercial sites, turning them from underutilized properties to productive business and community use.

Brownfields Program Welcomes New Committee Members and Changes Application Schedule

The Brownfields Committee welcomed three new members in December 2020 - Tim Arsenault, Laura Sibilia and Bonnie North.  The new members provide a wider regional representation on the Committee.  The Committee also changed its meeting schedule and application process for new projects.  The Committee will now meet bimonthly on the second Thursday of the month at 5:00 PM. 

Applications are due by 4:00 PM of the Monday of the week prior to the meeting (except for the June meeting, since that Monday is Memorial Day).  If you have any questions about the new application process, contact Susan Westa, WRC Brownfields Program Manager at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The new meeting schedule and application due dates for 2021 are as follows:

Meeting Dates

Application Due Dates

February 11 February 1
April 8 March 29
June 10 June 1
August 12 August 2
October 14 October 4
December 9 November 29

Cleanup Funds Available, Assessment Funds Limited in 2021

Cleanup Funding
The Windham Regional Commission is accepting applications for the Windham Region Brownfields Reuse Initiative Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund (WRBRI RLF).  The WRBRI RLF provides loans and grants to facilitate cleanup of contaminated properties (brownfields) in the Windham Regional Commission’s (WRC) service area.  This financing is intended to fill funding gaps needed for the successful cleanup and ultimate redevelopment of brownfield sites.  Loan funds are available to public, private and nonprofit owners who comply with the eligibility requirements of the Environmental Protection Agency; grants are available to eligible municipalities and nonprofit owners of brownfield properties.  Interested property owners must submit the eligibility form to Susan Westa, WRC Brownfields Program Manager at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., by the dates noted above.

Assessment Funding
Limited Assessment funding is also available through the WRBRI.  Assessment funds are used to determine if contamination has occurred and the extent of that contamination.  Property owners or prospective purchasers of brownfield properties must fill out Site Nomination Form and Owner Participation Agreement.  Although only limited funds are currently available, WRC will apply for a new EPA assessment grant when the next round opens. 


Brownfields Area-wide Plan Moves Forward

The Town of Rockingham successfully applied to WRBRI to develop a Brownfields Area-wide Plan for the Bellows Falls Island Area and “Under the Hill”.  This plan, which will kick off in early 2021, will help the community identify the highest and best uses for properties in the study area; identify issues related to brownfields contamination; and redevelopment plans for specific parcels.  Gary Fox, Rockingham’s Economic Development Director will serve as the local project lead.  WRC will use assessment funds to hire a prequalified environmental consultant to guide the community through the planning process and develop an implementable plan.


Cleanup and Assessment Funds Approved for The Garage in Bellows Fallsbrownfields bf garage

The WRC Executive Board approved an RLF cleanup grant for Windham Windsor Housing Trust in December 2020 for the Garage Project in Bellows Falls.  The approved cleanup funds are a small but important piece of the funding stack needed to redevelop this site, which was originally built as a garage and also housed a dry cleaners and a dyers.  The site will be redeveloped into apartments affordable to residents of various income levels.  While the site fronts on Rockingham Street in downtown Bellows Falls, it also has incredible views to the east of the Connecticut River and beyond.  


Assessment and Cleanup Updates

Below are charts containing information about active sites currently participating in the WRBRI assessment and cleanup programs.  These charts will be updated following the Brownfields Committee’s bimonthly meetings.

Active Assessment Site Update, March 2021
• Phase I – determines likelihood of potential contamination
• Phase II – determines extent of potential contamination
• ABCA – Analysis of Brownfields Cleanup Alternatives/cleanup planning
• CAP – Corrective Action Plan/cleanup planning

SITE UPDATE
Archery Building
Brattleboro
CAP update, Historic Section 106 Review, and Hazardous Building Materials Assessment underway 

BMAC/Arch St.
Brattleboro
CAP update and Historic Section 106 Review underway 

Covered Bridge Inn                
Brattleboro    
Phase I

Garage
Bellows Falls
Supplemental Phase II underway

Sanel Building
Brattleboro
Phase II underway

Thermal House
Brattleboro
Supplemental warehouse assessment underway

Winchester
Guilford
Phase II on hold until Spring 2021

Wyman Flint
Bellows Falls
Phase I underway


Active Revolving Loan Fund/Cleanup Site Update, January 2021

SITE UPDATE
Garage
Bellows Falls
Preparing for cleanup and redevelopment for affordable housing.

New England Youth Theater           
Brattleboro
Preparing for cleanup and demolition of building addition.

Red Clover Commons 2
Brattleboro
Cleanup work underway. Site redevelopment for affordable housing.

 

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