The Belfast Shipyard has transformed the waterfront bringing needed economic development. The former site used to be a chicken factory, photo by Ramona du Houx
The City of Belfast learned that it was recently selected to receive a $400,000 Brownfields Assessment grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which will be used to continue the City of Belfast Brownfields Assessment Program.
In all Maine will receive $7,340,000 from the Environmental Protection Agency Brownfield Program to assess and cleanup polluted properties throughout the state.
“Brownfield grants have been absolutely critical in helping Maine communities move forward by cleaning up sites contaminated by former industrial uses so they can be redeveloped. Both directly and indirectly, they have created and supported many jobs throughout the state,” said Congresswoman Chellie Pingree. “I’m very glad that these communities will receive funds to boost economic development and protect environmental health.”
Under this program, owners, developers, and/or prospective purchasers of ‘brownfield’ properties - commercial and industrial properties in Belfast that have redevelopment potential, but which are currently vacant or underutilized due to known or perceived contamination from petroleum or other potential hazardous materials, can receive an environmental assessment and/or cleanup plan for that property, in order to provide environmental due diligence in support of bank financing, to document the environmental liabilities and associated cleanup costs, to help revitalize these properties, and/or to protect the environment and public health.
The City of Belfast Brownfields Assessment Program is a voluntary program, and the services are provided at no charge; however the information and reports that are generated by this program become available to the general public. Owners, purchasers, and/or developers submit a brief application to the City’s Brownfields Selection Committee, who selects the brownfields to be assessed under this program.
The City’s program, launched at the beginning of 2012, has already resulted in the assessment of 19 brownfield sites, including ones where the assessments have been followed by environmental cleanup, such as the Old Waldo County Jail, the City-owned parcel located at 45 Front Street (known formerly as the Maskers’ Theater property), and 12-28 Washington Street. To date, the City of Belfast has received a total of $1.0 million in brownfields assessment funding, with grants being previously awarded in both 2011 and in 2013.
The City plans to begin outreach and promotion for their program over the next few months, to find new sites to enroll and assess.
Persons with interest in the City’s Brownfields Assessment Program are encouraged to contact Thomas Kittredge, Economic Development Director, at (207) 338-3370, extension 16, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, where they can have confidential, no-obligation discussions regarding the program and their site(s). Information about the City of Belfast Brownfields Assessment Program can also be found at www.cityofbelfast.org/brownfields.
EPA's Brownfields Program is designed to empower states, communities, and other stakeholders in economic redevelopment to work together in a timely manner to prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse brownfields.