EPA Issues First Re-use Awards for New England Superfund Sites

The Sullivan's Ledge and Iron Horse Park project teams received them in recognition of their efforts to place solar farms on two federally listed sites in Massachusetts.

EPA announced Dec. 1 that it has awarded its first-ever Superfund Excellence in Site Re-use awards in New England, with awards presented to the project teams that installed solar farms on two federally listed Superfund sites in Massachusetts: Iron Horse Park in Billerica and Sullivan's Ledge in New Bedford. EPA also recognized Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick for working to make Massachusetts a national leader in renewable energy production.

"For nearly 35 years, EPA has worked to identify and remediate the most contaminated parcels in New England to better protect people's health and our environment," said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA's New England office. "We are very pleased to recognize our first recipients of the EPA New England Superfund 'Excellence in Site Re-use Award' for implementing re-use projects on sites in Massachusetts that will benefit local communities for many years to come."

"All across the country, EPA's Superfund program is cleaning up sites and returning them to local communities for productive use. Re-purposing these sites for renewable energy projects will provide clean energy for New England communities, help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, support economic development opportunities, and help generate local jobs," said Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator of EPA's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response.

The Sullivan's Ledge project team includes the City of New Bedford, BlueWave Capital, and SunEdison. They built a 2 megawatt solar power facility on the 12-acre former landfill.

The Billerica project is located on the Shaffer Landfill, a 60-acre former municipal solid waste landfill that is part of the 533-acre Iron Horse Park Superfund Site. This project team included the Town of Billerica, Urban Green Technologies Renewable Energy 7 LLC, and Capital Dynamics, and they created a 6 megawatt solar power facility.

"In 2007, when Governor Patrick came into office, Massachusetts only generated about three megawatts (MWs) of solar power. Governor Patrick set a goal of installing 250 megawatts of solar electricity capacity by 2017. However, within the past seven years, there are now more than 680 MWs of solar power installed across the Commonwealth – enough to provide power for more than 100,000 homes. In fact, with the success of this effort, Massachusetts now has a goal of installing 1,600 megawatts of solar capacity by 2020. Solar installations are also helping the state's economy, as solar jobs account for an estimated 12,000 people employed in this sector in Massachusetts," EPA's news release stated.