Himes, Blumenthal, Finch Announce Brownfield Money For East Side

From Congressman Jim Himes:

Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4), Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn), and Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch joined EPA Deputy Regional Administrator Deb Szaro this morning to visit the former site of the Progressive Plating Technologies facility in Bridgeport and announce two grants awarded through the EPA Brownfields Program. The City of Bridgeport was awarded a $200,000 grant to clean up hazardous material at the Progressive Plating site and the Greater Bridgeport Regional Council was awarded a total of $900,000 in revolving loan fund grants for hazardous materials and petroleum cleanup activities.

“I am pleased to join my colleagues today to announce these much-needed brownfields grants,” Himes said. “This federal funding will help clean up the Hastings Street site in Bridgeport and support further toxin removal in our region. These projects help improve our environment and our health, and will spur long-term economic growth and job creation. I applaud the City of Bridgeport and Greater Bridgeport Regional Council for their work to receive these grants, and I look forward to working with them to continue to improve the Park City.”

“Federal brownfields funds improve the environment, strengthens the local economy and spurs growth in jobs. These EPA grants are a wise investment in Connecticut’s future. Connecticut’s congressional delegation is committed to assisting municipal leaders in obtaining these critical funds,” Senator Blumenthal said.

“In Bridgeport, we’re investing in our future, making our city a place where our kids and grandkids will choose to live, work and raise their families,” said Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch. “We’re improving the city by creating jobs, growing our economy, and preparing kids for the jobs of tomorrow. We’re also making our city more business and family friendly by revitalizing run down properties. That’s why federal grants like this are so important. They help provide us with the resources necessary to do just that. Thanks to Senator Blumenthal, Congressman Himes, and EPA Regional Administrator Sazro for their commitment to improving our state’s largest city.”

“In total, the state of Connecticut has been awarded over $4,000,000 in Brownfields Grants to assess and cleanup Connecticut communities,” EPA New England Regional Administrator Curt Spalding said. “That is a huge investment in revitalization across the state, and I’m so happy we were able to acknowledge many of the awardees today.”



  1. Revitalization necessary? You bet. But what is the extent of the problem in the City (assuming a full-scale assessment has been done at some time or other) and the number of acres, specific remediation approaches can be planned and necessary dollars can be found to do the work? Anybody? Drips of $100,000 for a study here or there, $200,000 for a specific lot cleanup, and/or $900,000 for a revolving loan fund administered by the BRBC may seem praiseworthy, but how do these ‘solutions’ measure to the actual problem at hand? If jobs and economic development are frustrated and forestalled because past businesses left their sites uninhabitable and past administrations let it happen because they had neither the interest, tools or presence of mind to find a better way than we have been left with, shouldn’t we at least understand how these current dollars measure up to the problem out there? And to calculate how long it may take for full remediations to happen in Bridgeport so land may once again bear productive businesses with active employment opportunities? Time will tell.

    1. Excellent comment, JML. I too have wondered about the city’s approach (or lack thereof) to assessment and short-/long-term planning to address this issue and many others such as roadways, storm and waste sewers, electrical and mechanical updates, especially downtown. Is the $900K going to the Greater Regional Business Council or the newly reformed Greater Regional Planning Agency?

  2. To the citizens of the Park City: Contact these politicians, your employees, not leaders and tell them to stop interfering in Tribal recognition, no matter how much they are getting for a payoff. The remaining three tribes will pull Bridgeport out and up from its plantation employee status.

  3. I think cleaning up old factory sites and, in some cases, tearing down the old factory buildings does help spur development. I am not a developer, but I would think I would much rather build a building on vacant land that has been environmentally remediated than build on land that has questionable environmental status or attempt to revitalize an old factory building to a new use. Also, it helps the city’s image by getting rid of old factories and cleaning the land–it depresses me every time I drive into Bridgeport from Fairfield on 95 and see the old factories. I am happy U-Haul is going to do something with one and I keep waiting for the apartments to go into the other, but that is simply not enough.

    No doubt, real development would be amazing. I would love to see great retail, commercial and residential buildings go up in Bridgeport. It would revitalize the tax base, it would make the city attractive and would bring downtown alive.

    Yes, time will tell. But sitting back and leaving decaying buildings to rot only tells us development is stalled.

  4. “… and a chicken in every pot.”

    Is there detail available on how the $200,000 will be used? How much is administrative fees? How many city employee payrolls are covered? What will be done for $200,000?

    A $900,000 revolving loan fund. Details? Are there administrative fees? (Of course.) Is the BRBC hiring someone to manage the fund?

    I have a suggestion:
    City crews can scrape the soil on the site down to the appropriate depth, load it into city dump trucks, haul it to Trumbull and dump it on Paul Timpanelli’s front lawn. $200,000 should cover it.

    Then, PT can get a loan from the revolving loan fund and remediate his property. How entrepreneurial is that? Brilliant!

    Perhaps JML will need to be the watchdog on this project as well.


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