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Maine to Receive Over $4 Million in EPA Brownfields Grants

Release Date: 09/28/2012
Contact Information: Contact: EPA Public Affairs, (617) 918-1010

(Boston, Mass. – September 28, 2012) – Today EPA announced nine Maine organizations will receive $4.3 million in EPA brownfields grants. The funds are a combination of assessment, cleanup and revolving loan fund (RLF) grants.

“This is important federal funding that will help communities clean up contaminated sites so they can be redeveloped. Congresswoman Chellie Pingree said. Without this funding, many of these pieces of property would go unused and remain a burden to the community. Cleaning up these sites means they can be put back into use and stimulate the local economy.”

The goal of EPA Brownfields grants is to lead to the clean up & sustainable redevelopment of Brownfields sites, thus improving the economy and quality of life in American communities. The funding is part of more than $17 million in EPA Brownfields investments across the six New England states announced by EPA in 2012.

“EPA Brownfields funding helps strengthen the economic foundation and is a catalyst for further growth in our communities,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA New England’s office. “Cleaning and revitalizing contaminated sites helps create jobs, and can help a community to create new businesses and neighborhood centers, while making our environment cleaner and the community healthier.”

Since the beginning of EPA’s Brownfields Program, in New England alone EPA has awarded 296 assessment grants totaling $72.7 million, 62 revolving loan fund grants and supplemental funding totaling $68.4 million and 213 cleanup grants totaling $47 million. These grant funds have paved the way for more than $1.45 billion in public and private cleanup and redevelopment investment and for 9,756 jobs in assessment, cleanup, construction and redevelopment on over 2200 sites across New England.

Sanford Town Manager Steven R. Buck said “The Brownfields Program has allowed the creation of a three way partnership with EPA providing the funding and guidance; the Town of Sanford working as the facilitator and resource manager of the program and private enterprise investing in the long term future of Sanford’s economy. Absent this partnership with EPA, Sanford would not likely have developed its current Plan to address environmentally sensitive properties that might otherwise not be redeveloped and put back into productive use.”

Nationally, the figures are impressive: As of August 2012, EPA’s Brownfields assistance has leveraged more than $18.3 billion in cleanup and redevelopment funding from a variety of public and private sources and helped create approximately 76,500 jobs. More than 18,500 properties have been assessed, and over 750 properties have been cleaned up. These investments and jobs target local, under-served and economically disadvantaged neighborhoods – places where environmental cleanups and new jobs are most needed.

Dover-Foxcroft Historical Society: a first time grantee, will be receiving $200,000 to remediate a property known as Central Hall. The property is located within the downtown business district of Dover-Foxcroft. It will be redeveloped into a new community center, adult day services and senior center.

Northern Maine Development Commission (located in Caribou, ME): the Commission will be receiving $400,000 in assessment funds to provide critical funding for Aroostook County as they move forward with the HUD Sustainable Community Planning grant. This organization has had previous assessment grants and has a current revolving loan fund grant.

Old Town: Old Town, a first time grantee, will be receiving three cleanup grants valued at $600,000 to remediate three parcels associated with the Old Town Canoe Factory site. It is the most visible site with the most redevelopment potential in the downtown area.

Piscataquis County Economic Development Council (located in Dover-Foxcroft): The Economic Development Council is being awarded $800,000 in funds to capitalize a revolving loan fund. The EDC serves 17 towns in central Maine and is located in Dover-Foxcroft. In the past, they have been awarded an assessment grant.

Rockland: a first time grantee, is being awarded $400,000 in assessment funds to inventory and assess brownfields sites. Their focus will be on the downtown waterfront area which has a long and varied history of marine industrial use.

Sanford: This year Sanford is being awarded a total of $800,000. This total includes $400,000 in assessment funds to help the Town implement its EPA-funded areawide plan for brownfields in the Millyard District. The other $400,000 will fund cleanups of two properties in Town. The Millyard Road property is located in the heart of the Millyard District, and its revitalization will promote open space access, transportation choice, and redevelopment of the Millyard. Cleanup of the CGA site will address contaminated soils, hazardous building materials, and other hazards to allow the site to be redeveloped for commercial/industrial re-use.

Southern Maine Regional Planning Commission (located in Springvale, ME): The Planning Commission is being awarded $500,000 to expand its highly successful Revolving Loan Fund program. SMRPC has a proven track record of working with municipalities, non-profits, and private developers to clean up and revitalize brownfields throughout its service area in York and Oxford Counties.

Washington County Council of Governments (located in Calais, Maine): The Council of Governments is receiving an assessment grant valued at $400,000. They received a previous assessment grant in 2009 and the new award will allow them to continue to assess sites in Calais, Eastport and Machias as well as perform remediation planning.

Wilton: a first time grantee, will receive $200,000 in clean up funding to remediate the former Wilton Tanning Company property. It is anticipated that the building will be used for commercial activities after the remediation.

More Information on EPA’s Brownfields program in New England: http://epa.gov/region1/brownfields/index.html # # #