Remediating Industrial Legacy Contamination - Chase Brass

For 200 years, precision metal products were manufactured in Connecticut’s Naugatuck Valley. The City of Waterbury became known as “The Brass Capital of the World,” largely due to mills like the Chase Brass & Copper Mill. Chase Brass was one of the country’s leading manufacturers, and when the plant shut down in the ’70s, a huge, unusable mill and an environmentally troubled property were left behind as a classic Brownfield. The City of Waterbury has undertaken an ambitious redevelopment of the mill property, and Woodard & Curran has been its go-to environmental and redevelopment consultant.

Waterbury’s vision for the site was to develop a world-class industrial complex, and we supported the City’s efforts to obtain state and federal grants to achieve this vision. Ultimately, a total of $34 million was allocated to the property’s cleanup and redevelopment. Leaders in Waterbury reached out to two of the city’s largest tenants, a manufacturer of precision wire products and a leading producer of specialty chemical additives. Both were convinced to expand their operations at the site as a major part of redevelopment. Also, as a result of the partial demolition and remediation of the old mill, a portion of the property was purchased for development by a specialty chemicals manufacturer. The resulting jobs, tax revenue, and increased quality of life for residents in the area means that the City’s vision for this property is well on the way to being reality.

We conducted the extensive investigation, remediation, and abatement activities at the 40-acre property. Additionally, we acted on behalf of the City to prepare bid documents for five separate demolition and renovation contracts totaling nearly $30 million, and monitored the construction for those projects. This, coupled with our assistance with redevelopment planning allowed Waterbury to focus on other core operations and save money by removing the need for hiring a separate construction management firm. The complete rehabilitation of the Brownfield was undertaken without interruption to the current tenants’ ongoing operations.

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