EPA awards Maine $1.795 million in Brownfields grants
June 1, 2017
Contact: David Madore, Communications Director, firstname.lastname@example.org or (207) 287-5842
AUGUSTA—EPA has awarded Maine $1.795 million in Brownfields Planning, Site Assessment and Clean-up Grants for FY2017.
Since 1997, Maine has received close to $50 million in competitive grant funding for the Brownfields program, created thousands of jobs and assessed or cleaned up 1,500 acres across the state.
"Maine's economy is tied to its natural resources," said DEP Commissioner Paul Mercer. “I am pleased the development of abandoned and unsafe property across the state puts these sites back on the property tax rolls with the use of brownfields funds."
One advantage of assessing potential sites is that some of them may not have significant contamination, and they can be quickly cleared for businesses to expand, invest or redevelop the property.
Maine has had one of the most successful Brownfields programs in the country. DEP understands the success of this program comes from working together with EPA and the applicants.
"Maine has consistently received higher amounts than many other states because we have an excellent staff that work tirelessly with potential recipients and help with applications, forms and overall information," said Commissioner Mercer.
Assessing and cleaning up the Brownfields sites remains a top priority for Mercer and DEP. "My vision for the Department recognizes that a healthy environment translates to a healthy economy," Mercer said.
A "brownfield" is defined by the EPA as "real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of hazardous substances, pollutant or contaminants." The purpose of the Brownfields Program is to encourage re-development at these properties. This is accomplished by working with municipalities and potential owners to assist them with conducting investigations and remediation where necessary to allow for productive re-use of brownfields sites.
In Maine this year, EPA is providing Brownfields grants to the following municipalities and groups:
- Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments, Western Maine, $200,000 (community-wide assessment grant)
- Bangor, $200,000 (community-wide assessment grant)
- Berwick, $200,000 (cleanup-Prime Tanning Company, Inc.-Blue Sort Building)
- Hallowell, $300,000 (community-wide assessment grant)
- Maine Department of Environmental Protection, $300,000 (community-wide assessment grant)
- Our Katahdin LLC for the town of Millinocket, $310,000 (cleanup-Miller's Department Store)
- The Eastern Maine Development Corp. for the Town of Bucksport, $285,000 (area-wide planning grant)
Potential Brownfields applicants are encouraged to contact Nick Hodgkins of DEP's Bureau of Remediation and Waste Management, Brownfields Program, by phone at (207) 287-7688 or by e-mail at Nick.Hodgkins@maine.gov. More information can be found here about the Brownfields Program: http://www.maine.gov/dep/spills/brownfields/index.html