STAFF:  susan Westa

Brownfields are land and buildings whose expansion, redevelopment, or reuse
may be complicated by the presence or potential presence
of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.

The Windham Region Brownfields Reuse Initiative (WRBRI) was established in 2000 with funding from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Since that time we have been working hard to promote vibrant communities by facilitating brownfields redevelopment.  

All together this funding has brought a total of $3.65 million dollars in federal brownfields funds to the region for assessment and cleanup of brownfields sites. This successful program has been instrumental in helping revitalize former industrial and commercial sites, turning them from underutilized properties to productive business and community use.  Click here for a map showing sites that have participated in the WRBRI, along with the status of their assessment or redevelopment.

Presentations Posted from Environmental Due Diligence in Property Transactions Workshop

The Windham Regional Brownfields Reuse Initiative and the Brattleboro Brownfields Program presented a free workshop on November 17th, 2017 about:

  • Federal environmental liability and exemptions for lenders and prospective property owners
  • State liability programs for banks and prospective property owners
  • The importance of a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment
  • Tools to help pre-screen environmental concerns
  • Resources to assist in the redevelopment of properties

Speakers included Joe Ferrari, US EPA Region 1, Patricia Coppolino, VT Department of Environmental Conservation, Susan McMahon, Windham Regional Commission and Sue Fillion, Town of Brattleboro. Presentations from the workshop can be found below:

  • Coppolino, Commercial Properties and Environmental Risk, PDF
  • Fillion and McMahon, It is Not About the Contamination, PDF
  • Ferrari, Environmental Due Diligence in Property Transactions, PDF

Now Accepting Applications for Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund

The Windham Regional Commission is accepting applicants for the Windham Region Brownfields Reuse Initiative Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund (WRBRI-RLF).  The WRBRI-RLF provides loans and grants to facilitate cleanup of contaminated properties (brownfields) in the towns of the Windham Regional Commission’s (WRC) service area. The purpose of this program is to assist in the revitalization of these properties to promote jobs and a cleaner environment for the communities in the WRC Region.  It is intended that these loans and grants will fill funding gaps needed for the successful cleanup and ultimate redevelopment of Brownfields.  Loan funds are available to public, private and nonprofit owners who comply with the eligibility requirements of the Environmental Protection Agency; grants are available to eligible municipalities and nonprofit owners of brownfield properties.

Property owners or prospective purchasers of brownfield properties must fill out the eligibility form to determine whether the property is eligible to receive EPA funds.  Once EPA approval has been granted to a site, the applicant will be notified and will then fill out Part B of the application form.

WRC Awards Brownfields Funding to Deerfield Valley Transit Association

In June, Windham Regional Commission signed an agreement with Deerfield Valley Transit Association (DVTA) for a loan/grant combination for $171,500 for brownfields clean up at the former Barnboard site in Wilmington. DVTA is the operator of a community transit system for the area around the Deerfield Valley and is known for their trademark buses with a Holstein motif. The grant is being used for the remediation of the Barnboard site as part of the construction of their new facility.

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EPA Awards Brownfields Funds for Two Windham Region Projects

EPA recently announced the award of more than $17.48 million in Brownfield grants to municipalities and organizations working to protect people’s health by assessing and cleaning up contaminated parcels in New England communities. In the Windham Region, EPA is awarding $475,000 clean up grants were awarded for two projects in Rockingham. 

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Main Street Arts Receives Brownfields Clean Up Grant from WRC

In April 2014 Windham Regional Commission signed an agreement with Main Street Arts (MSA), a non-profit community arts center located in Saxtons River, to grant the organization $133,658 for Brownfields clean up.  The grant is being used for the remediation of their adjoining site (33 Main Street) to allow them to make their existing building handicapped accessible.

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