Massive Funding in Brownfield Cleanup

June 6, 2023

Our neighborhoods are receiving a massive boost to protect our environment by cleaning up abandoned brownfields. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is providing $3 million to the 75th district. I cannot emphasize how much this is going to help our community in the immediate future and for years to come.

Commissioner of Connecticut's Department of Energy & Environmental Protection, Katie Dykes, joined us for the announcement on Monday. 

The funding will address the immediate need to deal with contamination from our abundance of vacant brownfields. The timing is key because at the end of May, a huge fire damaged an abandoned factory just a few blocks from my house. The EPA funding is going toward redeveloping several buildings including the one that partially collapsed in the fire, which is the former Waterbury Companies factory on South Main Street. The fire will only fast track that entire process since the flames demolished part of the building. The cleanup is already in full swing as an excavator pulls fallen bricks and other debris from the Mad River.

Mayor Neil O'Leary
Courtesy: Michael Puffer | Hartford Business Journal

I want to thank U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal and Congresswoman Jahana Hayes for securing this vital funding from the EPA. Without their hard work and dedication for Waterbury, we would not have received the brownfield cleanup investment.

The federal funding will enable Waterbury to address the environmental, public health, and social challenges brought on by abandoned, blighted, and contaminated factory sites. The cleanup will also enable the expansion of the current Brass City Harvest Food Hub and support economic growth and job creation. The on-going work has created a beehive of activity in the South End, and our neighborhood will continue to see growth. This revitalization is exactly what we need to become the thriving community I always envisioned in the 75th district.