BANGOR – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is awarding Eastern Maine Development Corporation $1.5 million for assessing and funding cleanup activities at brownfield sites.

This award is part of the EPA’s $254.5 million of brownfields grants going to 265 communities. Brownfield projects can range from cleaning up buildings with asbestos or lead contamination, to assessing and cleaning up abandoned properties that once managed dangerous chemicals. Once cleaned up, former brownfield properties can be redeveloped and repurposed into productive sites for businesses.

Lee Umphrey, EMDC president & CEO, said, “the clean-up of several sites is an opportunity for business redevelopment and creating jobs. This effort will reduce threats to public health and increase property values while encouraging local economic growth and investment. Revitalizing contaminated properties is another example of EMDC’s focus on the future economic vitality and sustainability of Maine’s communities.”

EMDC has a history of partnering with the EPA on Maine’s brownfield projects. EMDC has worked with the EPA on three previous grants, including two assessments valued at $400,000 each and a $200,000 cleanup grant for the former Verso paper mill in Bucksport.

Eastern Maine Development Corporation (www.emdc.org) is a non-profit that fosters public-private partnerships and leverages resources to help communities, businesses, and individuals reach long-term goals and achieve prosperity.