What is a Brownfield? 

Land and buildings whose expansion,  redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. 

What is the Brownfields Program? 

  • The Brownfields Program’s purpose is to right past environmental wrongs and to deliver land and buildings that have real or perceived hazardous materials back to the marketplace.
  • If a building or land might contain lead paint, petroleum waste, asbestos or other contaminants, it may be eligible for the Brownfields Program.  
  • The Brownfields Program can determine if contamination is present, clean it up, and clear property owners of future liability.
  • With proof of no environmental contaminants, the building or land can be bought, sold, and developed, thereby enhancing economic growth.

 How Does the Brownfields Program Work?

  1. Redevelopment Planning - Reuse of land and buildings requires strategic planning.  Establishing future uses for the site in the beginning of a project can save significant time and money.  Develop a vision for the property’s future and begin working towards that redevelopment goal.
  2. Environmental Site Assessment - Phase I  assessment is a “paper study” to determine what has been on the site in order to make an educated guess about what contaminants might be present and where they might be concentrated.  Phase II is scientific sample testing by environmental professionals with oversight by the State of Maine.  Then, a plan of action is created.
  3. Cleanup - Cleanup is necessary if the site is contaminated.  EPA understands that many site owners cannot afford to clean up old contaminants. That is why the Brownfields Program was created, to help fund assessment and clean up.

How can PCEDC help? 

Since 2012, PCEDC has received $1,400,000 from the U S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for a Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) for cleanup of eligible Brownfields sites.  PCEDC Brownfields RLF may subgrant (for non-profit entities) or loan (for private entities) funding for eligible sites in Piscataquis County.  PCEDC works with both publicly-owned and privately-owned sites.

Participation in PCEDC Brownfield RLF is voluntary.  Once a property owner decides to pursue a subgrant or loan through PCEDC Brownfields RLF, a Site Nomination Form must be submitted for review by the PCEDC Brownfields Team.  Additional applications are necessary to determine a property owner’s financial eligibility once site eligibility is determined.

For more information about Brownfields, contact Christopher Winstead.

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