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Mine-Scarred Lands Initiative Tool Kit: Private-Sector Tools

The private sector is beginning to recognize the advantages of investing the revitalization of former mines. The following resources may be possible for specific projects:

Community Reinvestment Act (CRA)
The Community Reinvestment Act was enacted to encourage federally-insured lending institutions to meet the credit needs of their communities, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. Brownfields stakeholders applying for private financing may want to contact their lending institution to determine if CRA loans are possible. The EPA Community Reinvestment Act Web site provides more information.

New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) Program
The NMTC Program is a development tool designed to stimulate the economies of low-income communities. Each year, the U.S. Department of Treasury allocates a certain amount of tax credits to qualified Community Development Entities (CDEs). These CDEs secure investors to make investments in low-income communities, including brownfields redevelopment projects. Mining communities may want to identify CDEs in their community and educate them about the revitalization project. This many encourage the CDEs to invest in the project. The Brownfields Solution Series: New Markets Tax Credit Program (PDF) (189 K, 4 pp, About PDF) provides more information.

Environmental Insurance
Environmental insurance is a growing private sector tool used to transfer risks related to contaminated land from project stakeholders to an insurance company. Insurance can be purchased for a variety of uses such as cleanup cost overruns (i.e., the cleanup ends up costing more than projected) and third party claims. Though environmental insurance can be very expensive, it can also be a helpful tool in ensuring investors, developers and other partners are comfortable moving forward with the revitalization project. The EPA Environmental Insurance Web site (PDF) (739 K, 3 pp, About PDF) provides more information.

Private Developers
Private developers are becoming more interested in cleaning up and redeveloping contaminated properties because they often present a greater return on their investment. In rural areas, it is sometimes difficult to engage developers because the land value tends to be lower than urban areas. In order to engage developers, it may be necessary for the community to provide benefits such as infrastructure development, low property price and tax incentives.

 

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