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EPA Gives Maine Two Grants Worth $635,000 for Brownfields Properties

Release Date: 04/20/2001
Contact Information: Amy Miller, EPA Press Office (617-918-1042)

EPA New England announced that $135,000 will be spent to assess contamination in Portland and another $500,000 will be used to establish a revolving loan fund program for clean-up and development in Orono.

"These grants will bring additional momentum to community Brownfields programs all across Maine, said Ira Leighton, acting regional administrator for EPA New England. "Dozens of contaminated sites across New England have already been restored through this successful program. Today's announcement ensures more successes down the road."

Under the agency's Brownfields Assessment Program, communities receive funding to assess contamination at abandoned and vacant sites, and to estimate the costs of cleaning up sites for redevelopment. Communities also receive funding to establish revolving loan programs allowing them to provide low interest loans to clean up these sites. Once assessed and cleaned, these sites can be put back into productive use by the community. These grants bring to $3.4 million the amount EPA has spent to date on brownfields projects in Maine.

Funds for site assessments were given to the following communities:

    • Portland ($135,000): The city will use the supplemental funds to assess sites, including the City Public Work Complex and the US Post Office Complex; to prepare development options, help with ownership and for site acquisition.
Revolving loan funds to help pay for site cleanups were provided to the following community:
    • Orono ($500,000): After losing hundreds of jobs to the closing of a textile mill, the city is hoping to bring the Striar Textile Mill back to productive use. This loan program will target the 62-acre Ayers Island, which is uninhabited and sits near one of Orono's most distressed neighborhoods, home to many of Striar Textile Mill's former employees. The loan will help clean the properties and restore the environment on Ayers Island, making it safe, accessible, aesthetically inviting and economically productive. Ultimately, the goal is to create 200 jobs and attract 100,000 visitors to engage in activities on the island.