OUR VIEW: Reclaiming contaminated land and learning a lesson

Published on Tuesday, 21 November 2017 22:00
Written by Staff

It’s very good news that three sites in New Britain have been selected to receive federal “brownfields” money - two grants totaling $1.7 million to remediate and revitalize locations on Dwight Court, East Street and Myrtle Street, Gov. Dannel Malloy announced Monday.

These land areas and, often, the buildings that sit on them served their communities well in another era - an era that unfortunately was not sensitive to the damage that industrial chemicals could do to the ground beneath these enterprises. But cleaning them up has proven to be both difficult and expensive - though necessary if they are to be returned to a useful role in our cities.

What these grants will do, Gov. Dannel P Malloy said, is ‘add value in our communities by making smart investments that repurpose these properties, resulting in a boost for local economies and spurring growth and private investments.”

In New Britain, $1.5 million will go to remediate a one-acre former coal and oil facility that neighbors the CTfastrak station at 24 Dwight Court to prepare it for redevelopment.

An additional $200,000 grant will go toward investigation of two sites: a 1-acre parcel adjacent to Central Connecticut State University and CTfastrack at 1411 East St. and a 4.4-acre parcel at 495 Myrtle St.

Obviously, all of these sites are located in economically significant areas, hold great commercial promise and have the potential to increase the value of the entire neighborhood, if developed thoughtfully.

Fortunately, we have learned from the past and, we trust, entrepeneurs will treat the lands with sufficient care so that our children won’t have to repeat this process in the future.

Posted in New Britain Herald, Editorials on Tuesday, 21 November 2017 22:00. Updated: Tuesday, 21 November 2017 22:03.