Brownfields 2002 Revolving Loan Fund Pilot
Fact Sheet
City of Worcester, MA
EPA Brownfields Initiative
EPA's Brownfields Program empowers states,
communities, and other stakeholders to work together to
prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse
brownfields. A brownfield site is real property, the
expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be
complicated by the presence or potential presence of a
hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. On
January 11, 2002, President George W. Bush signed into
law the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields
Revitalization Act. Under the Brownfields Law, EPA
provides financial assistance to eligible applicants
through four competitive grant programs: assessment
grants, revolving loan fund grants, cleanup grants, and
job training grants. Additionally, funding support is
provided to state and tribal response programs through a
separate mechanism.
The City ofWorcester (population 173,000) is located in
central Massachusetts. Like many other cities in the
Northeast, Worcester lost much of its industrial base over
several decades. Urban blight, disinvestment, and an
overall pattern of decline have created pockets of severe
distress within certain neighborhoods, particularly the
city's older inner-city neighborhoods. The per capita
income of city residents is only 78% of the state-wide
average. The city-wide poverty rate is 15%, but poverty
rates are as high as 42% in some neighborhoods. The city
has been designated an Economic Target Area by the
state, which enables access to the state's Economic
Development Incentive Program.
Former industrial sites have been idle for decades
because of potential liability issues. Over 200 sites are
classified by the state as contaminated. While the city is
37 square miles in area, only 100 acres of privately
owned land currently is on the market and available for
development. To improve the city's ability to compete for
new development projects, the city has developed an
overall economic development strategy that focuses on
the reuse of older, underused or abandoned industrial
sites with environmental issues. A major impediment to
reuse of brownfields has been the reluctance of
traditional lenders to provide funding for the reuse of
Pilot Snapshot
Date of Announcement: 05/01/2002
Amount: $1,000,000
Profile: South Worcester Industrial Park
For further information, including specific grant
contacts, additional grant information, brownfields
news and events, and publications and links, visit the
EPA Brownfields Web site
(http ://www .epa.gov/brownfields).
EPA Region 1 Brownfields Team
EPA Region 1 Brownfields Web site
Grant Recipient: City of Worcester,MA
(508) 799-1523
Worcester's goals for the BCRLF Pilot are to provide an
additional source of funds that will be leveraged with
both private financing and public funds and incentives to
address redevelopment issues associated with significant
brownfields in the city.
This Pilot focuses on a 25-acre, inner-city, former
industrial site known as the South Worcester Industrial
Park (SWIP). Buildings on the property are either
vacant or underused. An assessment of city-owned
portions of the property has been conducted through the
Brownfields Assessment Pilot. A series of public
meetings have been held with residents, businesses, and
other stakeholders to create a redevelopment plan for
the SWIP property. The redevelopment plan involves a
potential build-out of 1.7 million square feet of
industrial, manufacturing, and warehouse space.
Fund Structure and Operations
The City ofWorcester is the cooperative agreement
United States
Protection Agency
Washington, DC 20450
Solid Waste
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contaminated sites, even those located in prime
redevelopment areas. The city believes that the BCRLF
Pilot can leverage funding to move high-priority projects
recipient and will serve as the lead agency. The
Worcester Executive Office of Economic Development
will serve as fund manager. A site manager will be
provided by the Massachusetts Department of
Environmental Protection.
The BCRLF Pilot funds will be incorporated into other
city lending and incentive programs to leverage the
maximum amount of funding to complete brownfields
cleanups. The city will leverage both public and private
sources of funding, including HUD Section 108 Loan
Guarantee and Community Development Block Grant
funds. Additional HUD funding may be available
through the Brownfields Economic Development
Initiative program. The BCRLF and HUD funds will be
used in tandem with additional low-interest funds, tax
increment financing, and other public incentive
programs to provide the financing and incentive package
needed to leverage private developer investments.
The information presented in this fact sheet comes from
the grant proposal; EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of
this information. The cooperative agreement for the
grant has not yet been negotiated. Therefore, activities
described in this fact sheet are subject to change.
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