$1 Million EPA Grant Will Clean Up Future Union Square Development Site
The Kiley Barrel site is part of a development block connected to the Union Square Green Line station.
Somerville has received over $1 million from the Environmental Protection Agency to clean up contamination on Union Square's former Kiley Barrel property.
The Kiley Barrel site, located between Somerville Avenue, Milk Place and Bennett Court, is part of a development block that's key to the city's efforts to revitalize Union Square.
It sits next to the parcels of land upon which the MBTA plans to build the Union Square Green Line Station, and they city wants to convert the site into a transit-oriented development that would have retail, office, research and development, restaurant and residential space.
The EPA announced the $1,050,000 Brownsfields grants Monday morning at the Kiley Barrel site. Rep. Michael Capuano and Lt. Gov. Tim Murray were among the federal, state and local officials who attended the announcement.
Breaking down that number, the city received $600,000 from the EPA to complete the clean-up of the site in anticipation of development, and it received another $450,000 in "revolving loan fund" money to clean up nearby properties.
The Kiley Barrel property was used to store, clean and refinish barrels, and it operated from the late 1920s to 1989, according to the EPA. The land is contaminated with heavy metals, volatile organic compounds and PCBs.
Speaking Monday, Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone said the city will have received over $3 million to clean up the site.
Capuano took the opportunity to promote government investment in things like brownfields (contaminated land) cleanups. Private investors would never spend the money to clean up contaminated land, he said, and without an investment of taxpayer dollars, economic development in places in Somerville would languish.
He said the EPA is "one of the favorite kicking boys" in Washington D.C., but the agency's efforts to clean up contaminated sites "is worth the long-term investment."
As a result, he said, "It matters who you vote for. It matters who gets elected."