Berkshire Regional Planning Commission lands $373,000 for brownfield cleanup

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PITTSFIELD — Some contaminated Berkshire sites could be looking cleaner with new money announced recently by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission will dole out the $373,170 in newly awarded money via its Brownfield Revolving Loan Fund.

The supplemental money, amounting to $9.3 million nationwide, is heading for communities with demonstrated success in using their loan funds to clean and redevelop brownfield sites, the EPA said in a release.

Berkshire sites that could benefit from the money include Blackington Backwoods, a former tannery disposal yard in North Adams; Ried Cleaners, a former dry cleaning business in Great Barrington; and the Eagle Mill site in Lee.

"The funds will be used to continue their progress in reusing vacant and abandoned properties and turning them into community assets such as housing, recreation and open space, health facilities, social services, and commerce opportunities," the release states.

Melissa Provencher, the commission's environmental and energy program manager, said the organization had hoped to receive $500,000 but will do its best to stretch the dollars it receives.

First, she said, there will be a formal application process for the money.

Amanda Drane can be contacted at adrane@berkshireeagle.com, @amandadrane on Twitter, and 413-496-6296.

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