Douglas announces plan to clean up old industrial sites

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(Host) Governor Jim Douglas has unveiled a plan to redevelop some of Vermont’s older industrial sites that have been abandoned because of the presence of hazardous pollutants.

The governor wants to use $2.5 million in federal funds to assess and clean up the sites, known as brownfields, as a way to restore these facilities to local tax rolls and reduce sprawl:

(Douglas) “It’s very important to our economic development strategy that we revitalize areas that have been used for industrial purposes in the past and could be made successful in that economic sector once again. But in many cases there are problems because they are brownfields and we need to take steps to ameliorate the hazardous materials there in order to make them successful.”

(Host) Douglas also wants his administration to be more aggressive with individuals who abandon contaminated properties:

(Douglas) “I want to make it very clear that we take very seriously those who fail to fulfill their responsibilities to clean up brownfields. Vermont is proud of its natural beauty its environmental heritage and we will not take lightly any effort to flaunt legal obligations.”

(Host) Douglas also announced that he’s appointed Pat Moulton-Powden to be the new chairwoman of the Vermont Environmental Board. She currently serves as the executive director of the Springfield Regional Development Corporation. Douglas says Moulton-Powden has “a strong appreciation for the environment and understands how critical it is to Vermont’s economy.”

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