United States
                   Protection Agency
                   Washington, D.C. 20460
                           Solid Waste
                           and Emergency
                           Response (5101)
      May 1998
Demonstration   Pilot
                                        Methuen,  MA
  Outreach and Special Projects Staff (5101)
                                            Quick Reference Fact Sheet
EPA's Brownfields Economic Redevelopment Initiative is designed to empower States, communities, and other
stakeholders in economic redevelopment to work together in a timely manner to prevent, assess, safely clean up, and
sustainably reuse brownfields. A brownfield is a site, or portion thereof, that has actual or perceived contamination and
an active potential for redevelopment or reuse.  Since 1995, EPA has funded more than 150 Brownfields Assessment
Demonstration Pilots, at up to $200,000 each, to support creative two-year explorations and demonstrations of
brownfields solutions. The Pilots are intended to provide EPA, States, Tribes, municipalities, and communities with
useful  information and strategies as they continue to seek new methods to promote a unified approach to site
assessment, environmental cleanup, and redevelopment.

EPA has selected the Town of Methuen for a
Brownfields  Pilot.    Methuen   (population
approximately 40,000) is amix of farm land, suburban
subdivisions, urban neighborhoods, and industrial
businesses. In the mid- to late-1800s, mills along the
Spicket River  produced  hats, shoes  and textiles.
Today, due to an industrial decline,  Methuen has
numerous vacant lots and underused historic buildings
that could provide new jobs in an area where 33% of
the  residents—primarily ethnic minorities—live
below the poverty level.  Yet, despite the need for
available space, the uncertainty  of environmental
contamination  is  an obstacle  to  economic
redevelopment.   The  challenge of stimulating
economic development in the town is  magnified by
the  town's proximity to  the City of Salem, New
Hampshire which is a tax-free center.

Methuen has  identified two general areas for
brownfields cleanup and restoration—downtown and
the  Arlington neighborhood. The Pilot  will target
three abandoned properties within those areas: 1)
Notini's Market,  located  in the  Arlington
neighborhood, is a 2.5-acre vacant supermarket, and
prior to that was home to a chemical plant; 2) Methuen
Mills was the home of a cotton mill until a fire in 1995
burned all the buildings on the half-acre site in the
                             PILOT SNAPSHOT
                           Methuen, Massachusetts
  Date of Announcement:
  May 1998

  Amount: $200,000

  Profile: The Pilot targets
  three vacant commercial
  and industrial brownfields
  sites, ranging from 0.25 to
  40 acres in size.

                           Town of Methuen
                           (978) 794-3231
Regional Brownfields Team
U.S. EPA-Region 1
                               Visit the EPA Region 1 Brownfields web site at:

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

downtown area; and 3) the Garabedian site is a 40-
acre site in downtown that was used as a car dealership
in the 1950s. The stigma of potential environmental
contamination at these sites, which are surrounded
by Methuen's most impoverished neighborhoods,
has posed financing obstacles for area banks that
would otherwise be interested in redeveloping these


Methuen's objective is to expand and diversify the
business  and  industry tax base while providing
employment and services  for its citizens. The Pilot
will conduct Phase II environmental assessments at
the three targeted properties.   The  Arlington
Neighborhood is  Methuen's  most disadvantaged
community, and will be targeted by the Pilot for an
environmental justice  initiative. In addition, there
are several brownfields that the town is considering
acquiring through tax foreclosure.  The Pilot will
assess these properties to help the town determine
where best to direct its brownfields resources.


Activities planned as part of this Pilot include:

• Conducting Phase II environmental assessments at
  Notini's Market, Methuen Mills, and the Garabedian

• Conducting  Phase I, and if necessary Phase II,
  environmental assessments at properties that the
  town is considering for tax foreclosure; and

• Conducting  an  Arlington   Neighborhood
  Environmental Justice  Initiative,  consisting of
  community meetings to  seek citizen input for the
  project and to describe the  measures  being

The cooperative agreement for this Pilot has not yet been
negotiated; therefore, activities described in this fact sheet
are subject to change.
  Brownfields Assessment Demonstration Pilot                                       Methuen, Massachusetts
  May 1998                                                                      EPA 500-F-98-133