$1.25 Million Available to Clean Up Contaminated Land, Spur Economic Growth, and Create Jobs
PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) today announced $1.25 million is available in matching grant funds to support the cleanup of contaminated properties, known as "brownfields," and create jobs in Rhode Island. A Request for Proposals opens today – with a deadline of October 7, 2016.
"Cleaning up and redeveloping these properties is a win for our environment, families, and economy in Rhode Island," said Governor Raimondo. "Over the last year, we've invested millions in improving our infrastructure through the brownfields program and catalyzing economic growth. And we've created needed jobs for our families. We're making great strides, but we can't stop here. I look forward to the projects that result from this grant round."
Governor Raimondo and DEM last December awarded $3.7 million in Brownfields Remediation and Economic Development Fund matching grants to 14 projects, spanning 98 acres. The grants leveraged over $418 million in private and other public investment and, according to grantee estimates, support more than 2,700 jobs. Since 1995, the State – working collaboratively with federal, local, and industry partners – has cleaned up over 770 brownfields in Rhode Island, spanning 5,500 acres.
Rhode Island is home to thousands of brownfields - many of which occupy desirable commercial and industrial space within the state's urban corridor. Remediation and redevelopment of these sites has many benefits, including: improving environmental quality, supporting public health, attracting jobs, revitalizing communities, and increasing the local tax base. The Environmental Protection Agency's Brownfields Program estimates that 7.3 jobs are supported per $100,000 spent on brownfields redevelopment. An estimated 100 local jobs will be supported through this new grant round.
Rhode Island's brownfields grant program, which covers 80 percent of a project's cost, provides needed resources for site preparation and redevelopment projects. Site preparation grants of up to $100,000 are available for properties that have been declared a brownfield based on previous site investigation work but lack an approved Remedial Action Work Plan (RAWP). These grants can be used to fill gaps that exist in site investigation data and to develop and analyze actions necessary for an approved RAWP. Redevelopment grants of up to $250,000 are available for projects with completed and approved site investigations and an approved RAWP and Remedial Approval Letter or Order of Approval through DEM.
"Brownfields are vestiges of Rhode Island's industrial past. They blight our communities and negatively impact our environment," said DEM Director Janet Coit. "Transforming them into cleaner, productive spaces benefits our state and families many times over. And we're proud of the success we've achieved, along with many partners, to address these sites and build beautiful new schools, businesses, homes, solar farms, and parks in their place. We look forward to partnering with the successful applicants and continuing this important work for Rhode Island."
Rhode Island voters approved creation of the Brownfields Remediation and Economic Development Fund with the passage of the 2014 Clean Water, Open Space, and Healthy Communities Bond. Five million dollars in brownfields funding is included in the 2016 Green Economy Bond measure which goes before voters in November.
For more information or to apply for this grant opportunity, contact Deputy Chief of Waste Management Matthew DeStefano at firstname.lastname@example.org. Electronic applications are encouraged; however, proposals may also be mailed to the DEM Permit Application Center, 235 Promenade Street, Second Floor, Providence, RI 02908. Final proposals and supporting materials are due by 4:00 p.m. on Friday, October 7, 2016. Government and non-profit agencies, along with private/non-government entities, are eligible to apply. Selection of sites will be determined on a competitive basis.
For more information on DEM programs and initiatives, visit www.dem.ri.gov. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RhodeIslandDEM or on Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM) for timely updates.