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President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will help revitalize sites across Maine and Build a Better America

PORTLAND, MAINE (August 2, 2022) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) New England Regional Administrator David Cash, along with Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, Maine Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Melanie Loyzim, and Portland Mayor Kate Snyder, highlighted $19.7 Million in Brownfields funds being awarded to 12 entities in Maine at an event in Portland. This is part of a greatly increased Brownfields investment in New England this year made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to revitalize communities across the country by cleaning up contaminated and blighted sites and redeveloping them for productive use.

“EPA’s Brownfields program has a long track record of making critical investments that are a catalyst to revitalize communities in Maine and across New England,” said EPA New England Regional Administrator David W. Cash. “Thanks to funding from Congress and the Biden Administration in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, EPA is making a historic investment to help communities in Maine perform Brownfields assessments and cleanups. These projects will jump start economic redevelopment and job creation, and will do so in many neighborhoods that have been underserved and are ready to turn environmental risks into economic assets.”

“Hazardous sites not only pose a health danger to Mainers—especially as extreme weather becomes more common—but they also limit important economic activity in our communities,” said Congresswoman Chellie Pingree. “As Chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees funding for the EPA, I’m thrilled to see nearly $14 million coming back to Maine’s First District to help towns and underserved areas mitigate pollution by cleaning up and repurposing contaminated sites to create valued community spaces. Thanks to President Biden, this money from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will make generational investments in each of these towns, creating hundreds of jobs and securing more space for Mainers to create and expand their businesses.”

“We welcome this funding from the EPA’s Brownfields Programs, which will help identify potential hazards and encourage community development across Maine,” said Senators Susan Collins and Angus 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.”

The following municipalities will each receive a $500,000 assessment grant:

City of Bath: The community wide assessment grant will be used to address sites within the city’s downtown and waterfront areas, including the former Texas Steamship Shipyard and properties in the South End.

City of Gardiner: The community wide assessment grant will be used to assess the impact of paper mills and other brownfields within the city, including the Cobbossee stream corridor and the downtown Water Street area.

City of South Portland: The community wide assessment grant will address the impacts of sites related to industrial and ship building activities, including the Fore River Waterfront and the Main Street Corridor.

City of Waterville: A first time grant winner, the City of Waterville will be using their newly acquired funds to assess former mills and other sites in the city, including those in the Downtown and College Avenue areas.

Town of Gray: The community wide assessment grant will be used to address sites throughout the town, with a focus on the Gray Village Center intersection and the Route 100/Portland Road corridors. This is the town’s first grant from the EPA to address brownfields.

The City of Rockland will receive a $500,000 cleanup grant to remediate the former Shafter’s Junkyard.

The following regional organizations will each receive RLF Supplemental funding to recapitalize their ongoing and successful Brownfields RLF programs:

Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments: will receive $1M to help fund Brownfields cleanups at important sites throughout the Androscoggin Valley, including the Auburn, Lewiston, Rumford and Lewis communities.

Greater Portland Council of Governments: will receive $3.9M to assist in the continuation and initiation of Brownfields cleanup projects throughout the Greater Portland area.

Kennebec Valley Council of Governments: will receive $1M to provide funding for cleanups in their member communities.

Southern Maine Planning and Development Commission: will receive $3.9M to fund Brownfields cleanups at mills and other important sites in their member communities.

The City of Portland will receive a $3M RLF supplemental grant to provide funds for businesses and non-profits to clean up contaminated properties within the city.

The Maine Department of Economic & Community Development will receive a $3.9M RLF supplemental grant to provide state grant and loan assistance to a wide array of site cleanup and redevelopment projects throughout the state.

Brownfields sites often lie in proximity to overburdened and vulnerable communities where people live, work, play, and pray. These funds serve to support underserved and economically disadvantaged communities in assessing and cleaning up abandoned industrial and commercial properties and are part of a historic national EPA investment in Brownfields remediation. Brownfields funding helps begin to address the economic, social, and environmental challenges that have burdened these communities for far too long.

The new Brownfields funding announced this year includes approximately $180 million from the historic $1.5 billion investment from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help turn brownfield sites across the nation into hubs of economic growth and job creation, along with more than $75 million from appropriated funds.

EPA’s Brownfields grants and assistance to organizations in Maine this year are among other significant annual investments by EPA to help New England communities to address brownfield properties. Across the six New England states this year, EPA will be awarding over $51 million to assess or clean contaminated Brownfields sites in 42 communities.

In New England, since the beginning of the Brownfields program, EPA has awarded $125 million in assessment grant funding, $122 million in revolving loan fund grants and supplemental funding and $87 million in cleanup grant funding, totaling $334 million. These grant funds have paved the way for more than $4 billion in public and private cleanup and redevelopment investment and for over 23,000 jobs in assessment, cleanup, construction and redevelopment.

Background

A brownfield is a property for which the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.

Redevelopment made possible through the program includes everything from grocery stores and affordable housing to health centers, museums, greenways, and solar farms.

The Brownfields Program delivers on the Biden Administration’s Justive40 initiative, which states that at least 40 percent of the benefits of certain government programs flow to disadvantaged communities. EPA is committed to meeting and exceeding this goal.

This funding helps communities begin to address the economic, social, and environmental challenges caused by brownfields by stimulating economic opportunity and environmental revitalization in historically overburdened communities.

More information

Brownfields in New England

Brownfields Grants

EPA’s Brownfields Program

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