U.S. Sens. Collins, King announce $24.2M to clean up brownfields across Maine

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine and Angus King, I-Maine announced a $24.2 million investment from the Environmental Protection Agency to support under-served and economically disadvantaged communities across the State of Maine to conduct brownfields assessments and clean up abandoned industrial and commercial properties.

The following Community-wide Brownfields Assessment Grants will be used to address various sites throughout the indicated cities, towns, or planning organization service areas: 

Piscataquis County Economic Development Corporation will receive $500,000 for community-wide site assessments including Greenville, Dover-Foxcroft, and Milo.

Eastern Maine Development Corporation will receive $500,000 for community-wide site assessments, including Former Striar Textile and Great Northern Paper.

Revolving Loan Fund grant and Supplemental RLF grant recipients include EMDC, which will receive $1,000,000 for a new Brownfields RLF program to help support Brownfields cleanups throughout the area including sites such as Great Northern Paper and others.

“We welcome this funding from the EPA’s Brownfields Programs, which will help identify potential hazards and encourage community development across Maine,” said Collins and King in a joint statement. “In addition to cleaning up hazardous substances and improving our environment, this investment will help communities create new development opportunities to attract businesses that create good jobs for Mainers.”

Maine is receiving nine grants under the Brownfields Cleanup and Assessment Grants, two grants under the Revolving Loan Fund program, and six grants for supplemental funding under the Revolving Loan Fund program.

EPA’s Revolving Loan Fund Brownfields grants provide funding for a grant recipient to capitalize a revolving loan fund and to provide loans and subgrants to carry out cleanup activities at brownfield sites. Through these grants, EPA strengthens the marketplace and encourages stakeholders to leverage resources to clean up and redevelop brownfields. When loans are repaid, the loan amount is returned into the fund and re-lent to other borrowers, providing an ongoing source of capital within a community. The supplemental RLF funds announced are going to communities that have demonstrated success in using their revolving loan funds to clean up and redevelop brownfield sites. The supplemental funds will be used to continue their progress in reusing vacant and abandoned properties and turning them into community assets such as housing, recreation and open space, health facilities, social services, and commerce opportunities.

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 Programs assist states and local communities as they assess, safely clean up, and reuse brownfield sites for economic development projects.

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