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EPA: $6.1 Million in Grants for Contaminated Land Cleanup, Economic Development in Maine

Release Date: 05/11/2009
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. – May 11, 2009) – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson announced the nationwide availability of an estimated $111.9 million in grants bolstered by funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to help communities clean up sites known as “brownfields” which may be contaminated by hazardous chemicals or pollutants.

The grants for Maine, which include $1.8 million from the Recovery Act and $4.35 million from the EPA brownfields general program funding, will help revitalize former industrial and commercial sites, turning them from problem properties to productive community use.

“Cleaning and reusing contaminated properties provides the catalyst to improving the lives of residents living in or near brownfields communities,” said EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. “A revitalized brownfields site reduces threats to human health and the environment, creates green jobs, promotes community involvement, and attracts investment in local neighborhoods.”

“EPA's Brownfield's program has been an incredibly powerful economic engine, helping New England communities to assess, clean and reclaim abandoned parcels, returning property to productive uses," said Ira Leighton, acting regional administrator of EPA's New England office. "With an additional $1.8 million for Brownfields work in Maine, the Recovery Act will be helping to jump start local economies, putting people to work creating a cleaner and healthier environment. We are also very proud to be breaking new ground by issuing the first EPA Brownfields grant to a New England tribe."

Applicants selected to receive Recovery Act funds are:
- City of Bath, $200,000, community-wide assessment grant
- Greater Portland Council of Governments, $400,000, two community-wide assessment grants
- Town of Howland, $600,000, three cleanup grants for Old Howland Tannery Site
- Maine Dept. of Environmental Protection, $400,000, two community-wide assessment grants
- Town of Sanford, $200,000, cleanup grant for Sanford Mill Site

Applicants selected to receive brownfields general program funds are:
- City of Augusta, $350,000, assessment grant for American Tissue Mill Site
- City of Lewiston, $200,000, community-wide assessment grant
- Museum Lewiston - Augusta, $200,000, cleanup grant for Camden Yarns Mill Building
- Northern Maine Development Commission, $1 million, community-wide revolving loan fund grant
- Town of Orono, $200,000, cleanup grant for Webster Mill
- Piscataquis County Economic Development Council, $200,000, community-wide assessment grant
- Town of Sanford, $400,000, community-wide assessment grant and cleanup grant for Aerofab Site
- Southern Maine Regional Planning Commission, $1 million, community-wide revolving loan fund grant
- Washington County Council of Governments, $400,000, community-wide assessment grant
- Town of Windham, $200,000, community-wide assessment grant

EPA is also very pleased to announce the first brownfields grant to a tribal government in New England. The Passamaquoddy Tribe will receive $200,000 for a community-wide assessment grant.

The grants will help to assess, cleanup and redevelop abandoned, contaminated properties known as brownfields. Brownfields are sites where expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. In addition, the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act of 2002 expanded the definition of a brownfield to include mine-scarred lands or sites contaminated by petroleum or the manufacture of illegal drugs. Grant recipients are selected through a national competition. The Brownfields Program encourages development of America's estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites.

President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 on February 17, 2009, and has directed that the Recovery Act be implemented with unprecedented transparency and accountability. To that end, the American people can see how every dollar is being invested at Recovery.gov.

More information:

Brownfields cleanup revolving loan fund pilots and grants and other brownfields activities under the Recovery Act: (www.epa.gov/brownfields/eparecovery/index.htm)

EPA’s Brownfields program in New England (www.epa.gov/ne/brownfields/grants.html)

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