Volume 20, Issue 5, May 2019
In The Works is a monthly newsletter providing Environment, Health and Safety (EH&S) news and regulatory updates. The newsletter is provided by Loureiro Engineering Associates, Inc. of Plainville, Connecticut. In this Issue you will find links to the following articles:
The CT Greenways Council Presents 20th Annual Greenways Awards
Event Also Marks Designation of New Greenway in Clinton, Connecticut
The Connecticut Greenways Council recently commended eight individuals, and two non-profit organizations that have made significant contributions to the promotion, development and enhancement of Greenways – linear open space in Connecticut – and designated a new State Greenway at a ceremony held at Stratton Brook State Park in Simsbury, CT.
Susan Whalen, Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) said, “Our State Designated Greenways provide great opportunities to enjoy recreation, commute to work, exercise or shop from a bicycle, or simply spend time with family and friends on a beautiful day. The greenway being recognized today, along with our 75 existing designated greenways, provide these opportunities to local residents and visitors alike while boosting the economy throughout Connecticut. Today’s ceremony also recognizes a dedicated group of volunteers whose passion for greenways continues to improve the quality of life in our State.”
Bruce Donald, Chair of the CT Greenways Council, and Tri-State Coordinator for the East Coast Greenway Alliance stated: “Trails are community builders. They act like a new ‘town green’ as a meeting place. Even more so as a beloved amenity that evokes pride of place, attracting people from far and wide to a trail-town. As more and more trails are completed, their contribution to the vibrancy of Connecticut cannot be questioned.”
Greenways in Connecticut cover thousands of acres throughout every county in the state and may include paved or unpaved trail systems, ridgelines, or linked parcels of open space. Many communities around Connecticut have chosen, through greenway designation, to recognize the importance of river corridors for natural resource protection, recreational opportunities, and scenic values. The CT Greenways Council website contains details on how to get designations, assistance and a map of our State Greenways. http://www.ct.gov/deep/greenways
The Council presented the following ten awards and newly designated State Greenway:
2019 CT Greenways Council Award Recipients:
John Hampton, State Representative – recipient of the CT Greenways Council’s Legislative Award. John Kennedy Hampton represents the 16th Assembly District, Simsbury. Prior to his election to the state legislature, Rep Hampton served on the Simsbury Board of Selectmen from 2003-2012, including five years as Deputy First Selectman. During his tenure, Rep Hampton was a strong advocate for local trails and the environment.
Jeff LaMalva, Manchester’s town engineer – recipient of the CT Greenways Council’s Municipal Award. Mr. LaMalva is a greenway planner, designer, and advocate. He has hosted “bike to work” events and is currently designing the gap in the tri-town 20-mile loop connecting the Cheney Rail trail to Charter Oak Greenway (East Coast Greenway). His latest achievement is the completion of the Manchester gap in the Charter Oak Trail.
Dr. Robert Rodner – recipient of the CT Greenways Council’s Health Care Integration Award. He was co-chairman for a 10-year period running the Manchester Memorial Hospital Trail/Road event. Currently he is a facilitator of the October 13, 2019 event celebrating the tri-town (Manchester-Vernon-Bolton) 20-mile loop with a 5-mile leg into East Hartford.
Jerry Silber – recipient of the CT Greenways Council’s Unsung Hero Award. He has been the president of the Merritt Parkway Trail Alliance for many years and has been a tireless voice for its important connection to New York.
Melissa Evarts – recipient of a CT Greenways Council’s Volunteer Award. Melissa is the linchpin of the Lower Connecticut River Valley Horsemen’s Club (LCRVHC) and their 501(c)3, the Bridle Path Conservancy (BPC). Over the years LCRVHC and the BPC have donated thousands of hours in trail maintenance; conceived of, completed and now maintain the regional Quinimay Trail; and spent countless hours advocating for multi-use trails in the state. She builds these partnerships through a shared love of trails and educates equestrians on the importance of giving back.
Debbie Livingston – recipient of a CT Greenways Council’s Volunteer Award. She is an avid trail user in all seasons. She is very supportive of Bike Walk Bolton and has volunteered at their CT Trails Day Events. She also has organized Trails for Young Families events at Bolton Notch State Park to help expose them to the trails and being outdoors. She is an environmentalist who takes care to minimize her footprint, for example, she used the Hop River Trail to commute to work from Bolton to Vernon long before most in CT and often gets around town by bike with her two children in tow.
Jon Regan – recipient of a CT Greenways Council’s Volunteer Award. In 2013, Jon founded and is currently president of the Northwest CT chapter of the New England Mountain Bike Association (NEMBA). The legacy of Jon’s leadership includes the development of a solid working relationship with: Session Woods (DEEP Wildlife and Fisheries); DEEP foresters and park managers; City of New Britain and The New Britain Water Commission, the town of Granby, and town of Harwinton. This Chapter sets an example for the rest of the state, and Jon, who is not one to beat his own drum, is being recognized as a leader in the true sense of the word.
Patricia Sesto – recipient of a CT Greenways Council’s Volunteer Award. Pat was a founding member of the Friends of the Norwalk River Valley Trail (NRVT) and currently serves as President of their Board of Directors. The vision of the non-profit NRVT is to build, beautify and maintain a thirty mile, ten-foot wide, multi-use trail from Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk, passing through Wilton, Ridgefield and Redding, and terminating at Rogers Park in Danbury.
Lower Connecticut River Valley Horsemen’s Club and Bridle Path Conservancy – recipient of a CT Greenways Council’s Non-Profit Organization Award. LCRVHC is a social/riding club that was established in the early 1960s. The Bridle Path Conservancy (BPC) is a non-profit trail committee dedicated to the preservation, enhancement and acquisition of multi-purpose, passive-use, recreational trails on public and private land in Connecticut and southern New England. Club members have donated thousands of hours to the trails in our state.
The Simsbury Land Trust – recipient of a CT Greenways Council’s Non-Profit Organization Award. Founded in 1976, the SLT currently has over 700 member families. The SLT built a bog walk in West Simsbury, allowing a close-up view of 40 acres of unique wetlands without damaging the fragile surface vegetation. They publish an annual newsletter as well as The Simsbury Walkbook: A Guide to Local Hiking, available to members free of charge.
2019 Officially Designated Greenway
Clinton Blue/Greenway – The Clinton Blue/Greenway is a town trail that will connect, in its final phase, the Town of Clinton with its neighbors to the west and east, as well as the people of Clinton to their recreational opportunities, historical landmarks and land trusts. The first phase is a loop of over 3 miles which crosses a segment of trolley line then proceeds on roads through a historical section, to the Town Dock making the first connection to the “Blueway” onto the Indian River. There, the second access point takes users through the Town of Clinton and onto the Town Beach.
Next Round of Brownfields Funding Includes New ‘Simple Site Closure Grants’ and Continued Focus on Green Energy Projects
The Rhode Island DEM recently announced new funding opportunities for the cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated properties, known as brownfields, across Rhode Island. In all, $2.75 million is available through the request for proposals (RFP), which interested persons, organizations, and businesses may view here. Of the total, $2 million comes from the 2018 Green Economy Bond, which voters passed by a 79%-21% margin last November, and $750,000 is from leftover monies unspent from previous rounds of grant awards.
Brownfields occupy many acres of desirable commercial and industrial space within the state’s urban corridors. Remediation and redevelopment of these sites not only mitigates the threat to public health and the environment from exposure to uncontrolled contamination, but also can create and attract jobs, help small businesses, revitalize streets and neighborhoods, increase the community tax base, and support RI’s commitment to producing 10 times as much clean energy by 2020. In DEM’s last round of funding (October 2018), four of the 12 projects awarded had green energy characteristics including one solar farm, two rooftop solar installations, and one LEED-certified apartment building.
“Transforming contaminated brownfields sites into productive, cleaner spaces is one of the smartest investments government can make,” said Governor Gina Raimondo. “I am committed to putting brownfields grant dollars to the best use for Rhode Island communities and continuing to set bold goals for Rhode Island to be a cleaner, greener state.”
Through its Brownfields Remediation and Economic Development Fund, DEM aims to “accelerate the return of brownfields to productive reuse and strengthen Rhode Island’s economic base,” states the new RFP. In this vein, DEM has added a new category called “simple site closure grants” to its existing site preparation and redevelopment grants. Through awarding 10 grants, each up to $75,000, DEM hopes to help close out projects on brownfield sites that already have been investigated and are on their way to being remediated but haven’t been found compliant yet.
“Through this RFP, we’re looking forward to seeing applications for shovel-ready projects that clean up contaminated sites while generating full-time jobs and incorporating green energy elements,” said DEM Director Janet Coit. “The community cleanups and investments made possible by brownfields grants underscore the power of the Green Economy Bond that finances it and the wisdom of Rhode Islanders for approving the bond by an overwhelming margin last November.”
Rhode Island’s brownfields grant program, which covers 80 percent of a project’s cost, provides needed resources for site preparation and redevelopment projects. Site preparation grants are available for properties that have been declared a brownfield based on previous site investigation work but lack an approved Remedial Action Work Plan (RAWP). These grants can be used to fill gaps that exist in site investigation data and to develop and analyze actions necessary for an approved RAWP. Redevelopment grants are available for projects with completed and approved site investigations and an approved RAWP and Remedial Approval Letter or Order of Approval through DEM.
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, an estimated 7.3 jobs are supported per $100,000 spent on brownfield redevelopment.
How to Apply:
The RFP opens today with an application deadline of August 9, 2019. Final proposals and supporting materials are due by 4 PM on Friday, August 9, 2019. Government, private, and community agencies are eligible to apply. Project selection will be determined on a competitive basis.
DEM has a single application form for Site Cleanup Funding, available under “Site Cleanup Funding Opportunities.” The form can be used to apply for any of the grant opportunities mentioned in this news release. Electronic submissions are encouraged; however, proposals also may be mailed to the DEM Permit Application Center, 235 Promenade Street, Second Floor, Providence, RI 02908.
For more information on DEM programs and initiatives, visit www.dem.ri.gov.