Shelton gets federal grant to help clean up downtown site

The city has received a federal grant to clean up this former Chromium Process Co. waterfront parcel.
The city has received a federal grant to clean up this former Chromium Process Co. waterfront parcel.

Shelton will receive a $200,000 federal grant to help clean up a former Chromium Process Co. waterfront parcel in the city’s downtown.

The grant is one of 48 brownfields grants totaling $17.5 million for New England announced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The city-owned 0.3-acre site is between Canal Street and the Housatonic River, and is separate from the former Chromium Process property across the street that includes the old, brick factory complex. The riverfront property is vacant.

The city also owns the inland property with the factory. Both sites were taken through tax foreclosure in mid-2013.

(An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the brownfields grant was for the parcel with the factory; we regret the error and any confusion it may have caused.)

Attracting private development

The goal is to combine the 0.3-acre property with adjoining parcels to try to attract private development in the future, according to James Ryan, Shelton Economic Development Corp. (SEDC) president.

“This is the last link in unifying these parcels so the city can make them available for private investment,” Ryan said.

These former industrial sites require varying degrees of environmental remediation to prepare them for future use.

SEDC is a private, nonprofit entity that works on development issues in Shelton, in collaboration with the city. The SEDC focuses on the downtown area.

Federal brownfields assistance

The federal funds for the Chromium Process remediation work come from the EPA’s Brownfields Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup grant program.

The program’s goal is to provide communities with money to assess, clean up and redevelop contaminated properties, boost local economies and leverage jobs while protecting public health and the environment.

‘Back into productive use’

“Funding provided by EPA’s Brownfields program is an important asset for local communities working to get abandoned or derelict properties assessed, cleaned up and back into productive use,” said Curt Spalding, the EPA’s New England administrator.

“EPA’s investments in our communities through brownfields grants leverage an average of approximately $17 for every dollar we spend,” Spalding said.

Other nearby entities receiving EPA grants in this round of funding are the town of Stratford, city of Bridgeport, Greater Bridgeport Regional Council, and Norwalk Redevelopment Agency.