Letter: MassDevelopment is reclaiming brownfields
March 20, 2017 : The Berkshire Eagle
To the editor:
The article "Hope runs high to retain prized EPA brownfields program" (Eagle, March 11) only tells part of a more complex tale. MassDevelopment proudly administers the commonwealth's Brownfields Redevelopment Fund, which has cleaned and redeveloped nearly 700 projects.
The fund complements the EPA's efforts on countless projects, but has not been "out of funding" as reported. MassDevelopment has continued to lend both site assessment and remediation dollars to private-sector borrowers to facilitate site redevelopment uninterruptedly.
Last August, the commonwealth authorized $45 million for the fund to help realize many more projects like the ongoing redevelopment of Greylock Mill, which benefited not just from EPA efforts, as you wrote, but also Brownfields Redevelopment Fund dollars that the City of North Adams and Latent Products received in 2015. Commonwealth communities can continue to access the resources they need to put underused and often overlooked sites back to active use. For example, Great Barrington received a $95,000 commitment for the assessment of Ried Cleaners not from the MassWorks program, as you stated, but from the Brownfields Redevelopment Fund.
We thank the Baker-Polito administration and the Legislature for their commitment, and look forward to continuing to work with the EPA to assess and clean prime development sites. Please visit massdevelopment.com and contact us to learn more about MassDevelopment's brownfields work.
Julie Cowan is vice president of business development, Western Region, and Rich Griffin is vice president of community development, Western Region, for MassDevelopment.