NH gets $1.2m in EPA brownfield grants

Money will be used for phase one assessments of sites

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded a $1.2 million grant to New Hampshire that’s aimed at cleaning up various brownfield sites across the state.

The grant was divided evenly among three agencies: The Central NH Regional Planning Commission, the Southern NH Regional Planning Commission, and the Strafford Regional Planning Commission. Each $400,000 grant will be used to assess brownfields in their region. The assessments will be a first step toward cleanup.

The Central NH Regional Planning Commission had applied for the competitive grant five times in the past before finally receiving it this year. The money will be used to assess sites in Concord, Hillsborough and Pittsfield. The first step will be to form a committee to identify potential brownfield locations in the region, performing what is called a Phase I assessment at each site to decide if further steps should be taken. If Phase I identifies a potential brownfield, further analysis and sampling will have to take place in Phase II.

The Southern NH Regional Planning Commission has similar goals for the use of its grant money. It will focus on the towns of Derry, Goffstown, Candia and Raymond. The organization plans to put together an advisory committee to identify possible brownfields, as well as the type of contamination on each site. Identified sites will be further examined and cleaned up, potentially through the use of other grant opportunities.

The Strafford Regional Planning Commission selected Milton and Somersworth as its two primary areas of focus. Its main goal is to form an extensive community outreach and engagement initiative to educate and inform communities about potential brownfield sites in their area before putting together an advisory group to concentrate on the identified brownfields.

Work should begin in each region within the next few months.

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