On August 3, 2020, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) announced new funding opportunities for the remediation and redevelopment of contaminated properties, known as brownfields, across the state.
In all, $3 million is available. Redevelopment/reuse plans that support a positive impact on the community with amenities available for public use, and targeted community engagement opportunities for designated Environmental Justice (EJ) areas will be scored favorably. EJ areas and/or community enrichment for historically low-income areas throughout Rhode Island are an area of focus for this grant round.
Brownfields occupy many acres of desirable commercial and industrial space within the state’s urban corridors. Remediation and redevelopment of these sites not only mitigates the threat to public health and the environment from exposure to uncontrolled contamination, but also can create and attract jobs, help small businesses, revitalize streets and neighborhoods, increase the community tax base, and support RI’s commitment to producing 10 times as much clean energy by 2020.
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 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 are available for projects with completed and approved site investigations and an approved RAWP and Remedial Approval Letter or Order of Approval through DEM.
A Request for Proposals (RFP) is now open—with a deadline of 4 PM on September 18, 2020—for a new round of matching grants under the State’s Brownfield Remediation and Economic Development Fund. Government, private, and community agencies are eligible to apply. Project selection will be determined on a competitive basis. Electronic submissions are required, hard copies will not be accepted.
Photo of redeveloped brownfield courtesy of Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.