Funded projects will promote jobs, economic growth, and renewable energy
PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) – in partnership with the Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank – today announced new funding opportunities to support the cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated properties, known as brownfields, across the state. In all, over $6 million is available. Funded projects will support a healthier environment and economy, create jobs, and promote renewable energy uses at these locations.
Brownfields Remediation and Economic Development Fund - $5 Million
A Request for Proposals opens today – with a deadline of December 1, 2017 – for a new round of matching grants under the State's Brownfields Remediation and Economic Development Fund. Redevelopment of brownfields – which are vestiges of Rhode Island's industrial heritage and number in the thousands across the state – may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of environmental contamination. This Fund, created under the 2014 Clean Water, Open Space, and Healthy Communities Bond, helps communities and private organizations accelerate cleanup efforts and promote smart growth. Up to $2 million will be awarded to projects that promote renewable energy uses.
To date, $5 million has been awarded under the Fund, supporting 23 projects in 10 communities. These grants, which leveraged over $575 million in other investment and support some 4,000 jobs, help build new schools, businesses and homes throughout the state. Since 1995, some 790 brownfields sites have been cleaned up with assistance from DEM and its partners. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, an estimated 7.3 jobs are supported per $100,000 spent on brownfields redevelopment.
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 $500,000 are available for projects with completed and approved site investigations and an approved RAWP and Remedial Approval Letter or Order of Approval through DEM. Funding is made possible by the 2016 Green Economy Bond.
Targeted Brownfield Assessment Program - $527,000
The Targeted Brownfields Assessment Program provides funding to municipalities and non-profits to help evaluate brownfields sites and costs associated with remediation. A total of $327,000 in hazardous substance funding and $200,000 in petroleum funding is available. For more information, contact Cory DiPietro, DEM sanitary engineer, at email@example.com.
Brownfields Remediation Revolving Loan Fund - $860,000
The Brownfields Remediation Revolving Loan Fund, administered by Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank (the Infrastructure Bank) – provides long-term, low-cost financing to public and private businesses for the cleanup of sites with hazardous substances, excluding petroleum. In partnership with the Infrastructure Bank, DEM is soliciting projects on an ongoing basis. For more information, visit www.riib.org.
A single application form, available at www.dem.ri.gov/brownfields, can be used to apply for any of the above opportunities. 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, December 1, 2017. Government, private and community agencies are eligible to apply. Site selection will be determined on a competitive basis.
In partnership with the Infrastructure Bank, DEM will hold an informational workshop to review these funding opportunities on Wednesday, November 1, 2017 at 9:30 a.m. at DEM Headquarters, 235 Promenade Street, Room 300, Providence RI 02908. The workshop is open to the public.
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.