The City of Lebanon (the City) is considering the immediate purchase of a one-acre portion of the 19.1 acre Westboro rail yard from the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT). The City is additionally entertaining the possibility of purchasing the southern portion of the site if appropriate cleanup and assessment funds can be acquired. The intention of this report is to summarize the current condition of the Westboro yard, investigate funding opportunities for further assessment, cleanup, and subsequent redevelopment, and address issues of liability the City might encounter with the purchase of the site.
The state has contracted GZA GeoEnvironmental Inc. to conduct an environmental assessment of the one-acre portion of the site. Both Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs) have been completed and the company is currently wrapping up supplementary testing with the goal of completing the assessment in July 2009.
Cleanup procedures will be determined from the Assessments’ recommendations and will include further excavation and disposal of stockpiles of waste from a 2007 excavation. If the City purchases the two-acre portion of the site from NHDOT, the cost of this cleanup is expected to be covered by a $200,000 grant the state has already assured the City will receive. If the City were to purchase the additional acreage, funding for cleanup can potentially come from either state or federal grants and loans designated specifically for brownfields cleanup.
Plans for redevelopment of the site are not yet finalized as the City has not arrived at a consensus concerning the amount of land to purchase and the most efficient use of the land. Potential funding opportunities for redevelopment include both federal and state programs with not all options being limited to brownfield sites.