June 22, 2018
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Rockland gets $400,000 grant to study potential pollution sites

By Stephen Betts, BDN Staff

ROCKLAND, Maine — Rockland will have $400,000 available to offer property owners who want to know whether their lots are contaminated with petroleum or other hazardous materials.

“We envision this as an economic development tool,” Rockland Community Development Director Audrey Lovering said.

She said the grant is not targeted at any particular site.

“When you look at the history of Rockland and the use of properties and how chemicals were handled 20 years ago or further, there is the potential [for contamination],” Lovering said.

She said she wants to educate the public and property owners about the brownfield program that the grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will address.

Property owners will be able to apply for money from the grant received by Rockland to study their properties to determine whether there is contamination. Once the demand is known for cleanup money, the city can apply for an additional grant for the cleanup of those properties.

She said one example is the study done of the former MacDougal School property owned by the city. The city received money from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to study what hazardous materials were in the building.

Rockland was one of 245 communities across the country to receive grants. Eight communities in Maine received the brownfield grants. The list is available at http://cfpub.epa.gov/bf_factsheets/.

The EPA identifies a brownfield as a property that contains a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant which hinders the potential to reuse or redevelop the property, according to a news release from the EPA.

Lovering said anyone who wants more information regarding the Rockland brownfield grant can contact her at the Community Development office at 594-0306.

The DEP lists brownfield sites in each community in Maine on its website. For Rockland, the sites include 51 Park St., the former Camden Street Exxon, the former Fisher Engineering snowplow plant at Water and Ocean streets, the former Jameson Point Battery on Warrenton Street, the corner of Tillson Avenue and Lime Street, 117 Park Street where a laundromat is located, 534 Old County Road where a convenience store is located, the former Rockland Leathers tannery at 10-18 Gordon Drive in the Industrial Park, 230 Park St., 58 Park St., the Rockland landfill and the Coast Guard base.

A full list of remediation sites maintained by the Maine DEP is available at http://www.maine.gov/dep/gis/datamaps/brwm_remediation_sites/rpt_rem_site_list.pdf.

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