Assessment Pi
                           Franklin Regional Council of
                           Governments,   MA

EPA has selected the  Franklin Regional Council  of
Governments (FRCOG) for a Brownfields Assessment
Pilot. FRCOG is the regional planning agency for Franklin
County, the target community. The county encompasses
26 towns and 71,535 people in the rural upper Connecticut
River valley of western Massachusetts. Seven of the
towns borderthe Connecticut River, adesignated American
Heritage River. Although the valley has astrong agricultural
heritage, manufacturing represents the county's largest
employment sector. Yet, many large manufacturing centers,
including several mills and tool and die factories that
capitalized on the county's abundant hydropower and
natural resources, are in decline. Plants have closed and
left behind environmental problems that discourage the
growth of smaller, more specialized businesses. This Pilot
targets a number of identified  former mill  and paper
manufacturing facilities for assessment.

Towns that have historically thrived on manufacturing are
faced with vacant, industrial properties with suspected
contamination  in areas adjacent  to  low  income
neighborhoods. Population declines in the area reflect an
out-migration of the work force as  a result of plant
closures and job losses. Franklin County has a per capita
income of $ 13,945, which is significantly lower than state
and national levels. Eleven of the 25 towns have a higher
proportion of people living below the poverty level than the
state average.


FRCOG's overall objective is to apply aregional approach
to the identification, assessment, cleanup, and reuse  of
brownfields for communitie s in Franklin County that lack
the capacity to undertake such a program alone. As part
ofthis obj ective, the Pilotwill inventory potential brownfields,
develop site selection criteria, involve municipalities and
residents in impacted neighborhoods, assess targeted
sites, and plan cleanup strategies.
Date of Announcement:
May 2002

Amount: $200,000

Profile: The Pilottargeteseveral
brownfields in the downtown and
mill districtsof an economically
depressed former NewEngland
mill town.
    Franklin Regional Council
   Franklin Regional Council
Regional Brownfields Team
U.S. EPA Region 1
        Visit the EPA Region 1 Brownfields web site at:

      For furtherinformation, including specific Pilot contacts,
    additional Pilot information, brownfields news and events, and
    publications and links, visit the EPA Brownfields web site at:


Activities planned as part ofthis Pilot include:
 Inventorying and mapping potential brownfield sites in
  collaboration with the affected communities;

 Conducting six Phase I environmental site assessments
  at selected sites;

 Conducting four to  six  Phase II environmental site
  assessments; and

 Preparing cleanup plans for one to two sites.

The cooperative agreement forthis Pilot has not yet been negotiated; therefore,
activities described in this fact sheet are subject to change.
                                                                 Solid Waste            EPA 500-F-02-058
                                                                 and Emergency         May 2002
                                                                 Response (5105)       www.epa.gov/brownfields/