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Bid Title: City of Belfast Brownfields Assessment Program
Category: Economic Development
Status: Open

Description:

CITY OF BELFAST 

BROWNFIELDS ASSESSMENT PROGRAM

OVERVIEW AND APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS


Introduction 

The City of Belfast has been awarded a United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Brownfields Assessment Grant for conducting environmental assessments and cleanup planning at eligible properties located within Belfast, with an emphasis on commercial and industrial properties that have redevelopment potential, but are currently vacant or underutilized due to known or perceived contamination from by petroleum or other potential hazardous materials (or just the perception of contamination).

Types of assessments and cleanup planning activities include the following: 

Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA): this assessment focuses on reviewing available documentation as to the history of the site and its activities; a site reconnaissance walk is involved, but there is no actual taking and analyzing of samples. 

Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) Update: certain portions of a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment expire after 6 and 12 months, requiring that it be updated prior to the actual acquisition of a property in order to maintain particular specific benefits (see below); this update typically costs less than the original Phase I Environmental Site Assessment.

Phase II Environmental Site Assessment (ESA): this assessment involves the taking and analyzing of samples from a site, based on areas of concern that have been identified in the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment.

Hazardous Building Materials Inventory (HBMI): similar to a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment, which it is often conducted in conjunction with, this assessment involves the taking and analyzing of samples from building structures only (usually buildings or portions of buildings constructed prior to 1980).

Analysis of Brownfields Cleanup Alternatives (ABCA): this cleanup planning activity focuses on evaluating different methods of cleaning up a property in order to meet established thresholds given a desired redevelopment outcome; these alternatives are compared based on several criteria, including overall protection of human health and the environment, technical practicality, ability to implement, reduction of toxicity, mobility, and volume, short-term effectiveness, and cost. 

Remedial Action Plan (RAP): this cleanup planning activity describes the alternative that is selected/recommended from the Analysis of Brownfields Cleanup Alternatives, providing additional specificity for the selected cleanup plan, and which may include/reference a maintenance plan, deed restrictions for the property, confirmatory sampling, a contingency plan, and a schedule.

Program Benefits

Participation in the Brownfields Assessment Program can provide the following benefits:

No costs: any and all of the above identified environmental assessments are provided at zero cost to an owner or prospective purchaser, reducing the financial risk in completing due diligence and eliminating otherwise required costs (banks who provide financing for the purchase of a Brownfield typically require at minimum a Phase I ESA, which can typically run up to $5,000). 

Liability protection: by conducting a Phase I ESA in accordance with USEPA’s All Appropriate Inquiries standard (which all Phase I ESAs under the City of Belfast’s Brownfields Assessment Program are) prior to the acquisition of a property, the new property owner cannot be held liable by USEPA for any environmental issues that are later discovered that were not uncovered through the Phase I ESA process.

Eligibility maintained for cleanup funding: again, by conducting a Phase I ESA in accordance with USEPA’s All Appropriate Inquiries standard prior to the acquisition of a property, the new owner maintains eligibility for Brownfields funding for the actual cleanup of the property. For units of government and nonprofits, this can be in the form of a grant from the USEPA, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (MEDEP), or the City of Belfast; for for-profit entities and individuals, this can be in the form of a loan from MEDEP or the City of Belfast.

Application Process

Once the application has been completed, please return it either via e-mail, regular mail, or hand delivery to the Director of the City of Belfast Brownfields Assessment Program:

Thomas Kittredge

Economic Development Director

City of Belfast

Belfast City Hall

131 Church Street

Belfast, Maine 04915

The City encourages applicants to complete the application form to the best of their ability, but not to be overly concerned if it cannot initially be 100% completed (the City of Belfast’s Qualified Environmental Professional and/or the City of Belfast Brownfields Selection Committee may request additional information and/or clarification, if necessary, to complete review of the application).

Once an application is received, it will undergo two concurrent review processes: 

1) The City of Belfast’s Qualified Environmental Professional, in coordination with the MEDEP-designated Brownfields Project Manager and the USEPA-designated Brownfields Project Officer, will review the application to determine the eligibility of the site for inclusion into the program; this determination is pass or fail.

2) The City of Belfast Brownfields Selection Committee will review the application to determine if it will be entered into the program; this determination is made by scoring. The four criteria that an application will be scored by are: 1) environmental benefits; 2) economic benefits; 3) social and community (non-economic) benefits; and 4) project feasibility and progress.

Upon conclusion of these reviews, the City of Belfast will notify the applicant of any decisions made (typically within two weeks of application submission).

Program Regulations

This program is fully paid for by means of a Brownfields Assessment Grant from the USEPA. No program participant will receive any bill from the City of Belfast for any approved environmental assessment activities. Additionally, the City will not seek to recoup any funds expended on assessment activities if a site’s redevelopment plan does not take place as specified in their application. 

However, as this program is paid for by a public funding source, the City is not able to keep either the identities of program participants or the assessment reports that are generated confidential (all assessment reports are eventually made available for download from the City of Belfast’s website, or upon request they can be viewed at Belfast City Hall). Permission to allow the City of Belfast’s Qualified Environmental Professional to access the site as part of assessment activities must be granted by the actual current owner of the site, which will be memorialized through a site access agreement between the property owner and the City of Belfast. This program is entirely voluntary and participants can choose to end their participation at any time by simply notifying the City of Belfast via e-mail or letter. 

Sites that are accepted into the City of Belfast Brownfields Assessment Program will, with the exception of highly unusual cases, begin with a Phase I ESA or a Phase I ESA Update; authorization of further assessments (Phase II and beyond) will be determined by the City of Belfast Brownfields Selection Committee, based on recommendations made in assessments as they are completed. Permission to allow the City of Belfast’s Qualified Environmental Professional to access the site as part of these further assessment activities must again be granted by the actual current owner of the site, which will again be memorialized through a site access agreement between the property owner and the City of Belfast.

Further Information

Further information regarding this program is available at the following:

www.cityofbelfast.org/brownfields

www.cityofbelfast.org/126/Assessment-Cleanup-of-Contaminated-Sites

https://vimeo.com/34896163

https://vimeo.com/47753463

Questions and Technical Assistance

You may also contact either of the following individuals to have a free, confidential conversation regarding this program, or if you have questions regarding the completing of this application:

the Director of the City of Belfast Brownfields Assessment Program:

Thomas Kittredge

Economic Development Director

City of Belfast

(207) 338-3370 extension 116

or the Qualified Environmental Professional for the City of Belfast Brownfields Assessment Program:

Aaron Martin

Senior Project Manager/Geologist 

Sevee & Maher Engineers

(207) 712-6180

Publication Date/Time:
2/24/2012 12:00 AM
Closing Date/Time:
Open Until Contracted
Contact Person:
You may contact either of the following individuals to have a free, confidential conversation regarding this program, or if you have questions regarding the completing of the application:

the Director of the City of Belfast Brownfields Assessment Program:

Thomas Kittredge
Economic Development Director
City of Belfast
(207) 338-3370 extension 116
economicdevelopment@cityofbelfast.org

or the Qualified Environmental Professional for the City of Belfast Brownfields Assessment Program:

Aaron Martin
Senior Project Manager/Geologist
Sevee & Maher Engineers
(207) 712-6180
aaron.martin@smemaine.com

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