What is a Brownfield?
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines a Brownfield as a "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."
Like many older industrial cities, Taunton, Massachusetts was developed during the industrial revolution and was known as the Silver City for it numerous silver smiths and plating mills; in addition to numerous other industrial mills. This early industrial development combined with the residential growth over the last 50 years has created little vacant land available for commercial and industrial development. Therefore, the City identified the return of its Brownfields properties to productive use as critical to economic development and job creation efforts.
OECD administers the Brownfields Program, which is funded in large part by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA). The program can provide funds for environmental site assessments (ESAs) to help identify potential environmental hazards, additionally the Brownfields program can assist with low interest loans to help with hazards mitigation and remediation. The intent of the Brownfields program is to help revitalize vacant and potentially polluted sites throughout the City of Taunton. Once site assessments are complete, it allows for real costs to be determined and removes the issues and perceptions of possible contamination.
The Brownfields program is integrated within OECD in an effort to foster future business growth and vitality in Taunton. OECD’s success is a credit to the City's strong partnerships with the U.S. EPA, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, and MassDevelopment among others.
Redevelopment Funds Available to Developers/Business Owners
• The City’s Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) can assist with Site assessment and cleanup.
• MassDevelopment Brownfields Redevelopment Fund: Interest-free financing of up to $50,000 is available per project for environmental site assessments. Site assessments are unsecured with no interest charged.
• Brownfields Site Assessment: Financing is available for environmental site assessment determined on a case-by-case basis. Site remediation must be part of a redevelopment project.
• Brownfields Remediation Loan: This low-interest loan program comes from the state's $30 million Brownfields Redevelopment Fund administered by MassDevelopment. Funds will be used for site cleanup.
For a complete list of Programs and Financing options, please go to the Governor's Office for Brownfields Revitalization.