ES&M has made significant progress in the redevelopment of a property in the Valley neighborhood in Providence for future use as Farm Fresh Rhode Island’s new food hub.
After performing initial due diligence work on behalf of Farm Fresh RI, assisting them with winning EPA Brownfield grant funding, and developing remedial action plans throughout 2016 and 2017, ES&M began the next stages of redevelopment in 2018. During the summer, two underground storage tanks, one 5,000-gallon tank and one 10,000-gallon tank, were removed. Both tanks showed evidence of leaking. Soil excavation was warranted and due to high water levels on the property, dewatering systems were put in place and impacted soil was removed. ES&M also removed soil from another area of the site where oil was present. To date, no oil has re-appeared at the property.
Currently, ES&M is assisting with storm water and civil engineering design. An engineered cap will be placed over the remainder of the impacted soil, and the new buildings will be outfitted with vapor barriers.
ES&M recently completed environmental and engineering work at the East Street Park in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
In 2016, ES&M was contracted by Pawtucket Central Falls Development to perform Phase I & II Environmental Site Assessments of the property at the end of East Street in Pawtucket. The Site Investigation revealed concentrations of metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in soil that exceeded RIDEM standards. After determining the nature and extent of the contamination, ES&M designed a plan to encapsulate site soils with a RIDEM-approved engineered cap.
By the fall of 2018, ES&M had overseen excavation, backfilling, and capping of the site and the installation of a new pre-cast concrete retaining wall. Landscaped barriers included earthen materials, concrete surfacing, and installation of geotextile fabric and geomembrane for weed control, drainage control, and to separate earthen materials. This once inaccessible and contaminated property can now be accessed and enjoyed as a public park.
Is it safe to build on brownfields? The answer is yes! ES&M is proud to play an important role in the Farm Fresh RI success story highlighted in the linked Rhode Island Monthly article. We assisted Farm Fresh RI with three grant applications that resulted in the project being awarded a $71,720 RIDEM Brownfield Assessment Grant, a $480,000 RIDEM Brownfield Redevelopment Grant, and a $167,000 Storm Water Grant. ES&M completed the environmental assessment phase of this project and began the cleanup phase this past summer. In 2020, Farm Fresh RI plans to open the $16 million, 60,000-square-foot food hub with the goal of increasing the availability and affordability of locally sourced foods.
The article "Is It Safe to Build on Brownfields" was written by Ellen Liberman and published in Rhode Island Monthly on October 16, 2018.
Illustration below by John Rego.
As reported in GoLocalProv.com on October 31, 2018, RIDEM awarded $2.6 million in Brownfield Grants to twelve projects across six cities and towns in funding that was made available by the 2016 Green Economy Bond. Governor Gina Raimondo stated "When we’re able to clean up brownfields while also increasing our commitment to renewable energy, that’s progress we can all be proud of. Cleaning up contaminated brownfields sites is one of the smartest investments government can make. I’m committed to funding these projects quickly, and I look forward to the success stories that this latest round of funding will set into motion.”
ES&M put together three of the applications that were awarded 2018 Brownfield Grant funding.
Our client Tallman Enterprises was awarded $250,000 for remediation and development of the historic Conant Thread/Coats & Clark Mill Complex located at 390-392 Pine Street in Pawtucket. Cleanup of the 14,000 square foot former administration building is essential for its intended redeveloped as a yoga studio. Other parts of the site are intended for subdivision. An estimated 21 construction jobs and 45 permanent jobs will be created as a result of this project. ES&M conducted site investigation activities in the spring of 2018 to adequately assess the nature and extent of contamination at the site and to evaluate and identify a cleanup remedy.
Blackstone Pawtucket LLC
Our client Blackstone Pawtucket LLC was awarded a remediation/redevelopment grant of $198,217 for their continued renovation of the former riverside mill building located at 59 Blackstone Avenue in the Armory Arts District of Pawtucket. Grant funding will be used to continue to remediate and modernize this century old Blackstone Avenue property. Back in 2007, this property had a 50% vacancy rate, almost 300 broken windows, and an average square foot revenue of under a dollar per square foot. Blackstone Pawtucket LLC has spent the last decade and over a million dollars in realizing their vision for this property. The improvements completed to date have created vibrancy and activity in the neighborhood. The 2018 Brownfield Grant funding will be used to replace and install site structures such as a retaining wall, river walkway, and lighting, to roofing, window and siding improvements, and new mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems. ES&M will continue to provide professional environmental and engineering services and construction management during this project.
Gravelly Hill Road Solar Array
ES&M supported our client in obtaining a $56,000 assessment grant and a $250,000 redevelopment grant for the Gravelly Hill Road property located in South Kingstown, RI. The property is a currently vacant former septage dump. ES&M has been working in conjunction with the property owners and a solar development company to convert this former dumping ground into a 3,200-kilowatt solar farm. Once complete, the farm will produce energy for 610 homes and reduce greenhouse gas by an amount equivalent to removing 871 cars from the road.
Pawtucket Central Falls Development celebrated the grand opening of their 46-unit Branch Blackstone affordable housing project with a ribbon cutting ceremony. ES&M was recognized as an important team member involved in preliminary environmental assessment, grant acquisition and implementation, site remediation and civil site development of the site. The project has revitalized a blighted section of the City along the eastern bank of the historic Blackstone River. ES&M is also on the team working on the East Street Park project right next door. PCF Development and the City of Pawtucket are working to create a new public riverfront park at the end of East Street, adjacent to the new apartments on Branch Street. The new park, formerly the site of illegal trash dumping, will have seating, a walking path, shade trees and new landscaping.
Pawtucket Central Falls Development is a non-profit community development corporation that develops and manages affordable housing in Pawtucket and Central Falls, RI.