The Kennebec Valley Council of Governments (KVCOG) is pleased to announce the opening application period for Brownfields Assessment Funds. Cities, Towns, and nonprofits are invited to apply for Phase I Assessment funding. The goal of the Assessment funds are to conduct site assessments at languishing, underutilized properties or on properties where there may be a perception or stigma associated with potential contamination and to evaluate the presence or absence of contamination. The information collected during the Phase I Assessment can be used to determine if properties have environmental contamination that would prevent the property/land from being redeveloped, marketed, or acquired.
The Brownfields Program is federally funded through U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grants to identify, assess, and cleanup potentially contaminated properties. According to KVCOG Community & Economic Development Specialist, Cary Tyson, the program was established to provide assessment and clean-up money to eligible existing owners (e.g. municipalities) and prospective property buyers with the goal of promoting economic development, protecting the environment and building a better community. In addition to Brownfields Assessment monies, KVCOG has cleanup monies available for eligible entities once the property has been assessed and a cleanup/redevelopment plan has been prepared.
In June, KVCOG received a $200,000 EPA grant to provide assessments in its service region of Kennebec, Somerset and western Waldo counties. KVCOG has been engaged in brownfields work for over a decade with EPA Brownfields awards of $2,100,000 where 14 communities were provided with Assessment strategy monies and 5 communities were provided with cleanup strategy monies, strategically leveraging over $20 million in public and private redevelopment in the KVCOG area.