Lee Northern Mills Brownfields
In 2013, the Town of Lee was among the 20 brownfields communities in the nation selected to receive funding in the second round of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Brownfields Area-wide Planning Program (AWP). The program was created in 2010 to assist communities in responding to local brownfields challenges, particularly where “multiple brownfield sites are in close proximity, connected by infrastructure, and overall limit the economic, environmental and social prosperity of their surroundings.”
The Town of Lee has worked with the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission to develop a Brownfields Area-wide Plan for the Lee Northern Mills. The northern mills include four former paper mills (Eagle, Columbia, Greylock, and Niagara) formerly owned and operated by Schweitzer-Mauduit International, Inc. The mills closed their doors in 2008 resulting in the layoffs of 200 employees. Since closing their doors the mills remain vacant and unproductive, potentially contaminated and casting a shadow of unknown over their respective neighborhoods. The goal of the Lee Northern Mills Brownfields Area-wide Plan is to develop an implementation strategy for the four mills in this area, which will inform the assessment, cleanup and subsequent reuse of these sites. This goal was accomplished by identifying community priorities, local infrastructure needs, market feasibility, and environmental conditions, which helped to determine viable future uses for the mills.
There is an open comment period for the Lee Northern Mills Brownfields Area-wide Plan which will be revisited and updated as needed during 2017. For more information, contact Melissa Provencher at firstname.lastname@example.org or (413) 442-1521 ext. 22.