Sens. Collins and King announce $350K in EPA funds to clean up contaminated county land

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine and Angus King, I-Maine announced that a combined total of $2.35 million in federal funding has been awarded to five recipients in Maine to clean up and redevelop brownfield sites. Among the recipients is the Piscataquis County Economic Development Council, which has a $350,000 allocation.

The federal grants awarded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will provide communities with the resources needed to clean up contaminated lands, which will improve public health and foster economic growth.

“The Brownfields Program has proven to be a major benefit to the overall health and redevelopment of Maine communities,” said Sens. Collins and King. “We welcome this new EPA funding and applaud our local communities in their efforts to create a safer, healthier Maine environment and open up new economic opportunities across our state.”

The January 2017 assessment from the Economic Development Assessment Team – originally requested in March 2016 by Sens. Collins and King – highlighted the importance of the Brownfields Program and its potential to leverage federal resources to redevelop former industrial sites, support the viability of impacted mill communities, and help to grow Maine’s rural economy.

A brownfield site is a property that contains a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant that can hinder the potential to reuse or redevelop the site. The EPA’s Brownfields Program assists states and local communities as they assess, safely clean up, and reuse brownfield sites for economic development projects.

Other funding allocations are the City of Portland, $500,000; Greater Portland Council of Governments, $500,000; Maine Department of Economic and Community Development, $500,000; and the Southern Maine Planning and Development Commission, $500,000.

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