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Brownfields

Many of our communities have properties that are abandoned or underutilized because of suspected environmental contamination from past uses. These properties are commonly referred to as Brownfields.

 

Brownfield - noun. 1. 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. 2. abandoned or underutilized property that is not being redeveloped because of fears that it may be contaminated with hazardous substances.

Environmental impacts from historic industrial operations and commercial activities have resulted in vacant and underutilized ("brownfield") properties throughout our communities. Brownfield sites can be found in many different forms and may include derelict mills and factories, salvage yards and dump sites, former dry cleaners, old railyards and truck depts, former gas stations and other auto-related businesses, delapidated and aging buildings, and other vacant and underutilized commercial and industrial properties.


NVDA Brownfield Assessment Program

In 2005, NVDA created a Brownfield Assessment Program to help address these properties throughout the Northeast Kingdom. The Program advises property owners, developers, prospective purchasers, real estate brokers and others regarding the following topics:


•  Phase 1, 2, & 3 Environmental Site Assessments (ESA)
•  Planning for Remediation (clean-up) and Redevelopment
•  Technical Assistance with State Programs & Requirements
 

The Program also offers technical assistance for applications to State of Vermont Brownfields Reuse Programs.  For more information on the program and eligible properties, please contact David Snedeker.
 


Assessment Maps

•  St. Johnsbury Bay Street Area-wide Assessment Map


Assessment Reports

•  St. Johnsbury Bay Street Area Final Report


NVDA Coalition Site & Revitalization Program

Program Overview

In 2018, a coalition led by NVDA and supported by the Town of St. Johnsbury and Newport City was awarded a $600,000 Brownfield Assessment Grant by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The grant is managed by NVDA with support from an environmental consulting team led by Stantec Consulting Services Inc. (Stantec). The grant will fund environmental site assessment (ESA), regulated building materials (RBM) survey, site clean up/reuse planning, and related activites at publicly-and privately-owned brownfield sites. Funding is available through September 2021.

 

Vision: Revitalize vacant and underutilized ("brownfield") properties throughout the Northeast Kingdom to provide benefits to the community, including job creation, increased property values, environmental restoration, and reduced health risks.

 

Mission: Use EPA Brownfield Assessment Grant funding to inventory and prioritize brownfield sites for redevelopment, assess existing site conditions, and plan for cleanup and reuse of priority sites throughout our community.

 

Guiding Principles:

  • •  Prioritzie use of grants funds for sites that will attract investors and become a catalyst for new employment opportunities and a sustainable job base.
  • •  Promote infill development that maximizes use of existing space, infrastructure and utilities.
  • •  Remove redevelopment barriers by addressing unknown site conditions.
  • •  Invest in sites that will generate public and private revenue.
  • •  Transform blighted areas into thriving neighborhoods.
  • •  Protect public health and the environment.
  • •  Promote public participation and input on priority redevelopment areas and sites.

 

Resources

 

Frequently Asked Questions

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What is a brownfield?
Brownfields are vacant and underutilized properties used for industrial or commercial activities that may have resulted in contamination from petroleum or hazardous substances but can be cleaned up and reused.

 

What are the benefits of brownfield redevelopment?
Property owners, businesses and developers who cleanup and reuse brownfields provide benefits to themselves and their communities, including:

  • •  Removing unknowns regarding site conditions that might hold up a sale or redevelopment.
  • •  Increasing return from the property by making it more valuable and marketable.
  • •  Contributing to economic prosperity and environmental restoration in the community.
  • •  Making neighborhoods safer and healthier.
  • •  Avoiding actions by regulatory agencies that may impose penalties and costly cleanups.
  • •  Reducing the potential that adjacent properties could be impacting their property (and vice versa).

 

What will grant funds be used for?
Grant funding can be used to inventory, assess, and conduct cleanup/reuse planning for priority sites. Additional information is included on the Fact Sheets provided in the Resources section.

 

What sites are eligible for grant funds?
Sites eligible for grant funded activities include private- or public-owned properties with known or suspected contamination and properties where sale, reuse, or redevelopment is planned. Eligibility is determined on a case-by-case basis. Eligible sites may include (but are not limited to):

  • •  Former manufacturing and industrial sites (e.g. shuttered mills and factories, old tank farms, etc.)
  • •  Vacant or underutilized warehouses and commercial facilities (e.g. aging strip malls)
  • •  Former gas stations and other auto-related businesses
  • •  Former dry cleaners
  • •  Old rail yards and truck depots
  • •  Salvage yards, landfills and unpermitted dumping sites
  • •  Buildings with asbestos, lead paint, mold or other hazardous substances
Ineligible sites include those on the EPA National Priority “Superfund” List or targeted for any federal or state enforcement action.

 

What are the program requirements and timeline?
The program and funding is committed through September 2021. Participation is entirely voluntary and the property owner must agree to provide site access for assessment activities.

To qualify for grant funding, sites must meet certain eligibility requirements (described above). If you are interested in taking advantage of the opportunity to use grant funding on your site and are unsure whether or not it meets eligibility requirements, please contact David Snedeker (dsnedeker@nvda.net or 802-748-5181) for additional information.

For additional information, please refer to the Fact Sheets and other materials provided in the Resources section.

 

How do I nominate sites for use of grant funding? Is there a site in your neighborhood or one that you own that you think would benefit from the EPA funding assistance? Property owners and community members are encouraged to nominate sites for use of grant funds by completing a Site Nomination Form (provided in the Resources section).

After a Site Nomination Form has been submitted by the property owner/representative, an eligibility determination request will be submitted to EPA on the owner’s behalf requesting approval for use of grant funding. If approved, the property owner will work with the environmental consultant (Stantec) to coordinate the environmental site assessment and/or related activities. The owner will receive a report with findings and recommendations.

 

Contact Information

For additional information or to nominate a site for grant funding consideration, please contact:
David Snedeker, Executive Director
Northeastern Vermont Development Association
Phone: 802 748-5181 Email: dsnedeker@nvda.net

 

Disclaimer: Although this project has been funded wholly or in part by the EPA, the contents of this material does not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the EPA.