AUGUSTA- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that Maine will receive $3.8 million in Brownfields funding for FY2014.
Governor Paul R. LePage applauded the EPA’s announcement. “The Brownfields Program fits with my Administration’s vision that a strong economy and environment support one another,” the Governor said. “Contaminated or potentially contaminated sites are a fiscal burden to Maine’s communities. This funding helps put these properties back into productive use and protects our natural resources and public health.”
Maine continually surpasses other states’ funding and received the second highest amount of funding in New England behind Massachusetts. Since 2002, Maine has received over $50 million dollars in funding for the Brownfields program and created 750 jobs and assessed or cleaned up over 1500 acres across the state.
“Maine has one of the most successful Brownfields programs in the country, which is due in large part to the excellent assistance that DEP staff provides before the application is submitted and the follow-up once they receive a grant,” said Maine DEP Commissioner Patricia Aho. “Removing harmful contamination and redeveloping unsafe properties is not only good for the environment, it makes sense for the economy too. We encourage anyone who knows of a potential site to work with us to clean it up.”
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.
In Maine this year, EPA is providing Brownfields grants to the following municipalities and groups:
City of Bangor, $400,000 (community-wide assessment grant)
City of Bath, $400,000 (community-wide assessment grant)
City of Belfast, $200,000 (cleanup grant for Maskers Theater/Thompson Wharf)
City of Biddeford, $200,000 (cleanup grant for former MERC facility)
Congress Street Hill Property, LLC (Belfast), $200,000 (cleanup grant for Old Waldo County Jail)
Hancock County Planning Commission, $400,000 (community-wide assessment grant)
Town of Kittery, $200,000 (cleanup grant for Wood Island Lifesaving Station)
Northern Maine Development Commission, $200,000 (community-wide assessment grant)
Southern Maine Planning and Development Commission, $1 Million (community-wide Revolving Loan Fund grant)
Washington County Council of Governments, $400,000 (community-wide assessment grant)
The City of Bangor, Congress Street Hill Property in Belfast, the Town of Kittery and the Community Library in Lyman are all new grantees this year.
Potential Brownfields applicants are encouraged to contact Nick Hodgkins of DEP’s Bureau of Remediation and Waste Management, Brownfields Program, by phone at (207) 287-2651 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/.