"A brownfield is a property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. It is estimated that there are more than 450,000 brownfields in the U.S. Cleaning up and reinvesting in these properties increases local tax bases, facilitates job growth, utilizes existing infrastructure, takes development pressures off of undeveloped, open land, and both improves and protects the environment." -EPA's website

Success Stories & Current Projects

Lincoln News Facility (78 West Broadway, Lincoln): EMDC completed a phase I and phase II environmental assessments with the help of grant funding. This allowed the property to change hands and be upgraded for continued use.

Building 487, Bangor: This location in Bangor was assessed on behalf of the city by EMDC. The city just recently cleaned up substantial hazardous materials and demolished the building using Maine DEP Brownfields Cleanup and CDBG funds. The Building 487 site is now being leased by GE who has proceeded to utilize the site for additional parking and equipment staging/storage.

Brewer Public Works Site: This location on Brewer's waterfront went through the assessment and clean up planning process thanks to EMDC and funding from Brownfields. After the clean up and planning, and with the help of EMDC's business services, the area was redeveloped into Mason's Brewing Company. The Brewer Riverwalk and Children's Garden was also developed at the site, making the area a beautiful destination.

Former Verso Paper Mill Site: The Town of Bucksport, in partnership with the Eastern Maine Development Corporation (EMDC), has worked to develop a community-supported vision and plan for the future of the former Paper Mill property. The project is funded through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Area-Wide Planning Program.  The outcome of the process was an achievable and community-driven redevelopment plan for the Bucksport Mill property. The Executive Summary of the project can be found here.

Grant History

10/1/2013 - 9/30/2016: The EPA awarded EMDC $400,000 for assessment of sites potentially contaminated by hazardous and petroleum-based materials as Penobscot County's Brownfields economic development representative. EMDC inventoried 36 sites in Penobscot County that required assessment, completed Phase I assessments on 9 sites, clean-up planning activities on 3 sites, and other environmental work on 2 sites. This paved way for the eventual clean up and redevelopment of many sites.

10/01/2016 – 9/30/2019: The EPA awarded EMDC $400,000 for two brownfields assessment grants: $200,000 for hazardous substances and $200,000 for petroleum contamination. Grant funds are to conduct Phase I and Phase II environmental site assessments, and to support cleanup planning and community outreach activities. 4 Phase I assessments and 3 Phase II assessments have been completed with more in process.

01/01/2017 – 11/01/2018: EPA selected EMDC as the Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Grant recipient. EMDC is working with the Town of Bucksport and other stakeholders to develop an area-wide plan and implementation strategy for the future of the former Verso Paper Mill project area. The project is on schedule with presentation of the final area-wide redevelopment and implementation plan targeted for November, 2018. For more information on this project, view the A.D.A.P.T. Bucksport website


We constantly add to our inventory of sites that might be eligible for redevelopment under the Brownfields program (see definition above). Please reach out to Economic Development Specialist Mike Ludwig at or (207)942-6389 if you have site suggestions or would like information about Brownfields revitalization.