a former industrial or commercial site where future use is affected by real or perceived environmental contamination.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines a Brownfield site as “real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.”
KVCOG’s Brownfields Program
The Kennebec Valley Council of Governments (KVCOG) has been awarded a $200,000 assessment grant. The bulk of these funds will be used to
conduct Phase I and Phase II site assessments and identify possible reuse options for selected sites in the Kennebec Valley.
KVCOG is building an inventory of potential sites to bring before the Brownfields Steering Committee, which includes some member communities, EPA, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (MDEP), and our consultants. The Committee will analyze the sites and select those that have the best chance for redevelopment, that offer an economic benefit to the community, or that improve the environment.
In 1980 the federal government passed a law (CERCLA) that made the purchaser of a property liable for contamination. In order to confirm a site is or is not contaminated an assessment must be conducted. This is where KVCOG can help. KVCOG is offering grants to qualified for-profit & non-profit property owners.
The Assessment Process
Phase I Environmental Site Assessments
Phase I environmental site assessments consist of a site visit and a review of municipal and historical files, as well as records at MEDEP, to evaluate the background and past use of the site and the history of reported past uses of the site and the history of reported releases of petroleum or other hazardous materials. This information is used to assess what type of contamination may be present at the site, and where it is likely located.
Phase II Environmental Site Assessments
Phase II environmental site assessments consist of sampling and analysis of soil, groundwater and other media, based on the results of the Phase I assessment. Risk associated with the site contaminants and the need for additional assessment and or cleanup activities will be identified.
Phase III Remedial Action Planning
Phase III consists of the preparation of a cleanup plan for specific sites, including the evaluation of multiple cleanup options and their respective costs and effectiveness. The remediation plan is based on the planned end use of each site (for example, retail space or a public park).
Frequently Asked Questions
There is an unused building and underutilized property in our town that is an eyesore. Does it qualify as a Brownfields site?
That depends on a number of things, the most important of which is whether there is, or there appears to be, contamination. Other factors include whether or not the town has an interest in its re-use or redevelopment, and whether the owner (if it is privately owned) will allow access to the site.
Does KVCOG’s grant include money for cleaning up the site?
KVCOG’s EPA Assessment grant is for assessment activities and cleanup planning. However, municipalities that have had sites assessed and are eligible may be able to apply directly to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for cleanup funds. Sites that are privately owned cannot directly apply for EPA’s Cleanup Grants but may be eligible for State or other regional cleanup funds.
How Long Does the Process Take?
Work generally begins approximately four-to-six weeks after the submittal of an application to KVCOG. A Phase I Assessment takes approximately two months, with a Phase II Assessment taking anywhere from four to six additional months.
Where can I find the application?
Applications are available here