United States
Protection Agency
Washington, D.C. 20460
Solid Waste
and Emergency
Response (5105)
June 2001
                    Outreach and Special Projects Staff (5105)
                                          Brownfields Success Stories
In  Chicopee,  Turning  Problem   Sites
Into   Opportunities
                            CHICOPEE,  MA
          he City of Chicopee, Massachusetts typifies countless
      older manufacturing communities in New England, its former
      industrial areas now lying unused and, in many cases, con-
      taminated. But through the city's efforts, and with assistance
      from EPA  and other federal and  state  agencies, these
      "brownfields" are finally being viewed as opportunities rather
      than problems. One of Chicopee's former brownfields is now
      home to a $5 million, digital broadcasting station, enabled
      through federal partnerships and by an agreement to split en-
      vironmental insurance costs between the city and the site's

      Containing nine known sites with varying levels of contami-
      nation, Chicopee was a natural choice for a Brownfields As-
      sessment Pilot grant from EPA. The initial $59,000 grant was
      used to assess the old Bay State Wire Company  site, where
      two buildings that had once housed  a wire and metal parts
      manufacturer had sat abandoned since 1988. The site's build-
      ings were reduced to charred brick frames in a 1990 fire, and
      scorched barrels of oil, plasticizers, and other contaminants
      remained inside, creating a blight and a severe hazard.

                                            continued ^
                                           JUST THE FACTS:
                                             After assessments on the Bay State Wire
                                             Company site leveraged a $310,000 cleanup,
                                             EPA supplemented Chicopee's $59,000
                                             Brownfields Pilot with an additional
                                             The Pilot next targeted the 3.75-acre former
                                             Conway Bedding site.  Again, cleanup
                                             funding was leveraged following Pilot
                                             The Conway Bedding site was eventually
                                             purchased by a CNBC subsidiary, as the site
                                             of a new, $5 million, state-of-the-art digital
                                             broadcasting station.
                                             An official groundbreaking for the
                                             new, $5 million digital broadcasting
                                             station was held in September 1998,
                                             and the station began operations in
                                             December 1999, creating several
                                             new full-time jobs in addition to the
                                             more than 100 employees  who
ERA'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. EPA is funding:
assessment demonstration pilot programs (each funded up to $200,000 over two years), to assess brownfields sites and to test cleanup
and redevelopment models; job training pilot programs (each funded up to $200,000 over two years), to provide training for residents of
communities affected by brownfields to facilitate cleanup of brownfields sites and prepare trainees for future employment in the environmental
field; and, cleanup revolving loan fund programs (each  funded up to $500,000 over five years) to capitalize loan funds to make loans for
the environmental cleanup of brownfields. These pilot programs 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.

      Assessments performed through the Brownfields Pilot confirmed the re-
      lease of trichlorethylene (TCE), oil, grease, and cadmium to the site's
      soil and groundwater.  Pinpointing areas of contamination enabled a
      $310,000 cleanup effort to proceed, funded by a Community Devel-
      opment Block Grant (CDBG) from the U.S. Department of Housing
      and Urban Development (HUD). All of the contaminant-filled drums
      were removed, contaminated soil was hauled away, underground stor-
      age tanks  were  excavated,  and the charred  buildings were  demol-
      ished.  The cleaned site was appraised by the city, and has  already
      received interest from two adjacent manufacturers looking to expand
      onto the property. The city has specified that jobs must be created through
      the site's future use.
Chicopee Office of
Community Development
EPA Region 1
Visit the EPA Brownfields Web site at:
      The rapid transformation of the Bay State Wire Company property led to addi-
      tional Brownfields Pilot funding for Chicopee; in May 1997, EPA provided $30,000
      for assessments at other properties. The Pilot targeted a 3.75-acre former manufacturing site
      in the low-income neighborhood of Williamansett. Uncertainties about contamination scared
      developers and purchasers away from the site, known as the Conway Bedding property, which
      the city had foreclosed on in 1996.

      Brownfields Pilot assessments led to demolition of the site's buildings and cleanup of the
      property, again paid for with HUD CDBG funding.  Five electrical transformers containing
      polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were removed, as were a 6,600-gallon  storage  tank and
      several containers of oil. The property was also cleared of mice and rats, which had overrun
      the site during its years of abandonment.

      Within two weeks of advertising this newly cleaned site through a Request-for-Proposals pro-
      cess, the city was approached by Benedict Broadcasting, an affiliate of CNBC. The  company
      eventually purchased the site for $250,000, as the location of a new, $5 million, state-of-the-
      art digital broadcasting station. As part of its arrangement with the city, Benedict Broadcast-
      ing required sharing equally with the city the costs of environmental insurance for the site, to
      guarantee the company's protection from liability in case additional contaminants were dis-
      covered during redevelopment.  An official groundbreaking for the new broadcasting station
      was held in September 1998, and the station began operations in December 1999, creating
      several new full-time jobs in addition to the more than 100 employees who relocated.

      Considering the success of the Bay State Wire Company and Conway Bedding sites, it's hardly
      surprising that in September 1998, EPA awarded Chicopee an additional $111,000 for
      Brownfields Pilot assessments, bringing total Pilot funding to $200,000. At least three other
      idle properties in Chicopee have been targeted by the Pilot, and may someday undergo the
      same transformations as the first two.  For more information on the Chicopee  Brownfields
      Pilot, contact Diane  Kelley at (617) 918-1424.
Brownfields Success Story
June 2001
                    Chicopee, MA
                EPA 500-F-01-218