A brownfield is a property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. Cleaning up and reinvesting in these properties increases local tax bases, facilitates job growth, and both improves and protects the environment.
The State of Maine Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund (BRLF) program is a partnership between the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). DECD is the financial manager and DEP is the environmental manager. The primary goals of the State of Maine's BRLF program is to clean up sites, foster redevelopment, and sustain the BRLF.
Since the program's inception in 2010, when the State was first awarded brownfields funding, the State of Maine's BRLF Program has been successfully administering the brownfields program to ensure the proper assessment and cleanup of brownfields properties throughout the State. As of June 2021, the State of Maine's BRLF program has awarded approximately $4,000,000 through 23 completed loans and subawards.
The BRLF enhances DEP's current Brownfields Program by providing an additional source of funding for the remediation of brownfield sites. DEP has identified sites with high redevelopment potential and a completed brownfields assessment, but that have not been cleaned up due to lack of funding. Previously, public funds were not available for private businesses to clean up hazardous substance sites. Low interest loans through the BRLF, along with DEP technical support under the 128(a) program, allow eligible parties to tackle costly contamination issues so that these areas can be returned to productive use. BRLF funds are an added resource to leverage private developer funds, municipal funds, and/or state funds.
For more information on the Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund Program please visit: http://www.maine.gov/dep/spills/brownfields/index.html.
The Maine Voluntary Response Action Program (VRAP) may be another valuable resource to encourage the cleanup and redevelopment of brownfields for business use. For more information please visit: https://www.maine.gov/dep/spills/vrap/index.html.