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EPA Brownfields Program

EPA's Brownfields Program empowers states, communities, and other stakeholders to work together to prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse brownfields. A brownfield site is 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. In 2002, the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act was passed to help states and communities around the country clean up and revitalize brownfields sites. Under this law, EPA provides financial assistance to eligible applicants through competitive grant programs for brownfields site assessment, site cleanup, revolving loan funds, area-wide planning, and job training. Additional funding support is provided to state and tribal response programs through a separate mechanism.

Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Program

EPA's Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Program assists communities in responding to local brownfields challenges, particularly where multiple brownfield sites are in close proximity, connected by infrastructure, and limit the economic, environmental and social prosperity of their surroundings. This program enhances EPA's core brownfields assistance programs by providing grant funding to communities so they can perform the research needed to develop an area-wide plan and implementation strategies for brownfields assessment, cleanup, and reuse. The resulting area-wide plans provide direction for future brownfields area improvements that are protective of public health and the environment, economically viable, and reflective of the community's vision for the area.

Project Description


EPA has selected the Eastern Maine Development Corporation as a Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Grant recipient. The Eastern Maine Development Corporation will work with the community and other stakeholders to develop an area-wide plan and implementation strategy for the former Verso Paper Mill project area. The 117-acre area, located on the Penobscot River, abuts the Town of Bucksport's residential and commercial center. The paper mill closed in 2014 and is currently vacant, and the project area also contains vacant buildings that once housed a tannery and a steel mill. The area-wide grant will be used to supplement ongoing planning efforts in the project area. It will include a market study that will analyze the local and regional market for the former mill space; analyze the mix of downtown and regional trade areas; evaluate opportunities; develop a strategy for retention, expansion, and recruitment; identify existing infrastructure in the mill complex; and create a green infrastructure plan that will consider developing the riverfront area and connecting it to downtown. The project is expected to build on and advance sustainable and equitable development opportunities that will greatly benefit the community, including increasing affordable transportation options, promoting equitable and affordable housing, enhancing economic competitiveness, and supporting the sustainable use of existing infrastructure. Key partners who will work with the Eastern Maine Development Corporation on this project include the Bucksport Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, Bucksport NEXT, Main Street Bucksport, and Bucksport Heart and Soul.


For further information, including specific grant contacts, additional grant information, brownfields news and events, and publications and links, visit the EPA Brownfields Web site (http://www.epa.gov/brownfields).

EPA Region 1 Brownfields Team
EPA Region 1 Brownfields Web site (https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/brownfields-and-land-revitalization-connecticut-maine-massachusetts-new-hampshire-rhode)

Grant Recipient: Eastern Maine Development Corporation, ME

The information presented in this fact sheet comes from the grant proposal; EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of this information. The cooperative agreement for the grant has not yet been negotiated. Therefore, activities described in this fact sheet are subject to change.

EPA 560-F-17-001
January 2017
United States
Protection Agency
Washington, D.C. 20460
Land and
Management (5105T)

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