Burlington awarded $25,000 for Moran project

BURLINGTON The U.S. EPA has recently awarded $25,000 along with a pledge to provide technical assistance to the Burlington Community and Economic Development Office (CEDO) and the Moran Center Project. The Moran Center project will renovate a former coal-fired electric plant into an ecologically sound community recreational center redesigned to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. Current plans for the Moran project include recreational and educational activities, improved access to Lake Champlain, expansion of a downtown park and restoration of nearby wetlands. Through EPAs Brownfields Program, states, municipalities and other stakeholders are able to work together to assess, cleanup and sustainably redevelop and prevent risks associated with brownfields a term given to buildings and properties where redevelopment or reuse may be complicated by the presence or anticipated presence of hazards. The Burlington Community and Economic Development Office (CEDO) in Burlington is managing the Moran Center Project at the Waterfront Park. The plant is located in the north end of Burlingtons downtown waterfront and has been a focal point for eco-friendly redevelopment since it was decommissioned in 1986. The selection of the Moran Center as one of just 16 projects nationally is a demonstration of Burlingtons vitality, the success of the Citys Brownfields program, and the potential of the Moran project to be a model of sustainable redevelopment, said Mayor Bob Kiss of Burlington. It is expected that the redeveloped complex will create a host of year activities, possibly including the first indoor ice climbing experience in the United States, a first rate indoor rock climbing center and an aerial adventure course. In addition to the recreational potential, the project is also expected to create about 500 construction jobs and 80 permanent jobs. Current environmental concerns at this site include the presence of residual arsenic and PAHs, both from the storage and burning of coal during its period of operation. Lead paint and asbestos are also present due to the timing of its original construction. An underground petroleum storage tank next to the building was removed in the 1990s but there is evidence of remaining petroleum pollution near one groundwater monitoring well along with signs of VOCs, possibly from the use of solvent cleaners for maintenance of machinery within the plant. In addition to a thorough site cleanup the building renovations will undergo a comprehensive green building plan, which aims for a minimum of a Silver LEED certification with green roof technologies, renewable energy use, re-naturalization of nearby wetlands and other conservation goals. A pivotal element of this project includes innovative, on-site storm water management and filtration that will serve as a visible and interactive opportunity for public education on storm water issues. In January 2002, President Bush signed the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act which increased funding, expanded authority and provided liability protection to help communities revitalize brownfields.

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