June 25, 2013
USTs No Longer Carved Out of Brownfields Agreements
With the passage of House Bill 789 into Session Law 2013-108, the Brownfields Property Reuse Act of 1997 has been amended such that underground storage tanks (USTs) are no longer carved out of the definition of a brownfields property. The Brownfields Program has previously completed many brownfields agreements on properties where USTs are located, but under the previous statutory provisions, any UST issues were “carved out” of these brownfields agreements, necessitating that prospective developers work with both the Brownfields Program (to address brownfields issues) and the UST Section (to address UST issues). However, this statutory change now allows DENR to fold in all of the prospective developer’s requirements (both UST and non-UST issues) into a brownfields agreement.
March 11, 2013
Governor McCrory Announces Agreement Enabling Development of Region’s Largest Eco-Industrial Park
Raleigh, N.C. - Today, Governor Pat McCrory and Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary John Skvarla announced the signing of a brownfields agreement for ReVenture West. The agreement authorizes the development of the region’s largest eco-industrial park on a former 667-acre Superfund site in Charlotte.
February 7, 2013
Communities Interested in Applying Smart Growth Principles Can Apply for Technical Support -- U.S. EPA's Smart Growth Implementation Assistance Program
The SGIA program is an annual, competitive solicitation open to state, local, regional, and tribal governments (and non-profits that have partnered with a governmental entity) that want to incorporate smart growth techniques into their future development. The U.S. EPA will select 3 or 4 communities this year to obtain free technical support of their smart growth efforts. See information and how to apply here… http://epa.gov/smartgrowth/sgia.htm, and see the U.S. EPA's request for letters of interest here… http://epa.gov/smartgrowth/pdf/sgia/sgia-2013-rfli.pdf
May 29, 2012
Program Fees Effective Immediately For New Applications.
Fees for development of a brownfield agreement were last changed in July 2006. For a few years, the Brownfields Program in the Division of Waste Management continued to receive level funding support from the U.S. EPA. However, in recent years, there have been considerable cuts to U.S. EPA brownfields funding to states, and that trend is likely to continue. The Brownfields Property Reuse Act requires recovery of costs and, since the percentage of the costs covered by the U.S. EPA funding provided to the program is decreasing, the cost portion of fees paid by prospective developers must increase in order to maintain the current level of service for projects seeking redevelopment, the resulting creation of jobs, and compliance with the statute. Analysis shows that these fees will increase from an average of $5,500 to $8,000 for a standard site.
Consistent with the statute, this fee is provided by prospective developers to the North Carolina Brownfields Program in two installments. At the beginning of the process, at the time the site is deemed eligible, there is an initial $2,000 statutory fee due. The remainder due is negotiated in the brownfields agreement, but the fee amount must defray all costs to the state (for both NCDENR and the North Carolina Department of Justice).
Analysis of funding totals from the U.S. EPA and fees indicates that, due to the decreased federal funding, this second installment cost average must increase to $6,000 in order to defray program costs consistent with the statutory requirement. This increase will result in a total fee of $8,000 for a standard project, subject to negotiation of a brownfields agreement. This announcement serves to notify all applicant prospective developers that this fee increase will apply to all projects entering the program after May 31, 2012.
Fees may be higher if a particular project requires legal review and negotiation through a Department of Justice attorney, as by statute, the Department of Justice’s expenses must also be defrayed. However, based on experience over the course of more than 200 completed agreements, program staff believe that the legal fee is entirely avoidable at most standard sites.
If the prospective developer enters the Redevelopment Now program, fees will remain the same as they are at present: $30,000, subject to the negotiated brownfields agreement, as these fees do not include any federal funding subsidy.
May 29, 2012
Commencement of the Ready-For-Reuse Agreement Program.
The North Carolina Brownfields Program has been piloting the preparation of brownfields agreements that aid the marketing of brownfields properties. In instances where an owner of property is not eligible for a brownfields agreement, the program will, in cooperation with that owner, develop a draft brownfields agreement, with the prospective developer listed in the agreement as “to be determined.” Such a “Ready-for-Reuse Brownfields Agreement” will provide the prospective purchaser a site that is ready to go, with a draft brownfields agreement prepared in advance and awaiting finalization that is consistent with the purchaser’s end use. This will aid the marketing of the property, and, therefore, its ultimate redevelopment. Through this “Ready for Reuse” type of agreement, the program hopes to encourage a new universe of brownfield properties that would otherwise remain abandoned or underused into redevelopment, creating jobs and opportunities while protecting public health and the environment.
As a result of future purchaser vetting, programmatic project restart costs, and post-agreement modification requirements, this type of project is of somewhat higher cost to the department. The program is prepared to provide such agreements with a cost recovery structure commensurate with the estimated required additional resources. Therefore, subject to the negotiated brownfields agreement, the department is setting the estimated standard ‘Ready-for-Reuse” fee, based on these costs, at $15,000 for such sites, payable in two installments: half upon receiving eligibility determination from the program, and half when the Ready-for-Reuse Brownfields Agreement is agreed to by the owner and DENR and is made ready for public comment.
The program reserves its statutory discretion to not proceed with a particular agreement of this type should it perceive such an agreement would run counter to statutory goals or has insufficient public benefit to warrant use of program resources. No fees are due if the department decides not to proceed with the applicant’s project due to such concerns.
Nov 29, 2011
EPA Requests Proposals for Urban Waters Small Grants.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency expects to award between $1.8 to $3.8 million in funding for projects across the country to help restore urban waters by improving water quality and supporting community revitalization. The funding is part of EPA’s Urban Waters program, which supports communities in their efforts to access, improve, and benefit from their urban waters and the surrounding land. Healthy and accessible urban waters can help grow local businesses and enhance educational, recreational and employment opportunities in nearby communities.
The goal of the Urban Waters Small Grants program is to fund research, studies, training, and demonstration projects that will advance the restoration of urban waters by improving water quality through activities that also support community revitalization and other local priorities such as public health, social and economic opportunities, general livability and environmental justice for residents. Examples of projects eligible for funding include:
• Education and training for water quality improvement or green infrastructure jobs
• Public education about ways to reduce water pollution
• Local water quality monitoring programs
• Engaging diverse stakeholders to develop local watershed plans
• Innovative projects that promote local water quality and community revitalization goals
Information about Urban Waters Small Grants including the Request for Proposal (RFP) and registration links for the webinars is available at http://www.epa.gov/urbanwaters/funding. EPA expects to award the grants in Summer 2012.
Note to Applicants: In accordance with EPA's Assistance Agreement Competition Policy (EPA Order 5700.5A1), EPA staff will not meet with individual applicants to discuss draft proposals, provide informal comments on draft proposals, or provide advice to applicants on how to respond to ranking criteria. Applicants are responsible for the contents of their proposals. However, consistent with the provisions in the announcement, EPA will respond to questions from individual applicants regarding threshold eligibility criteria, administrative issues related to the submission of the proposal, and requests for clarification about the announcement. Questions must be submitted in writing via e-mail to email@example.com and must be received by the Agency Contact, Ji-Sun Yi, by January 16, 2012 and written responses will be posted on EPA’s website at http://www.epa.gov/urbanwaters/funding
Dates to Remember:
• Deadline for submitting proposals: January 23, 2012.
• Two webinars about this funding opportunity: December 14, 2011 and January 5, 2012.
• Deadline for submitting questions: January 16, 2012
• For more information on EPA’s Urban Waters program, visit http://www.epa.gov/urbanwaters.
• EPA’s Urban Waters program supports the goals and principles of the Urban Waters Federal Partnership, a partnership of 11 federal agencies working to reconnect urban communities with their waterways. For more information on the Urban Waters Federal Partnership, visit http://urbanwaters.gov.
Sept 30, 2011
EPA Announces FY2012 Request for Proposals for Brownfields Grants.
EPA Announces FY2012 Request for Proposals for Brownfields Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund and Cleanup Grants! The proposal deadline is November 28, 2011, for more information and complete grant guidelines visit : http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/applicat.htm
The grants are available for sites contaminated with petroleum and/or hazardous substances; with funding for assessment in each category up to $200,000 or $1,000,000 for an assessment coalition. Grants for the Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) (up to $1,000,000) are available to facilitate the cleanup of brownfields sites and individual Brownfield Cleanup Grants (up to $200,000) are available for site specific cleanups.
Applicants are encouraged to contact the North Carolina Brownfields Program early for your acknowledgement letter. And read the grant guidelines carefully before applying.
Sept 15, 2011
MOVE TO GREEN SQUARE APPROACHING
The move to the Green Square Complex is expected to be completed on October 24, 2011. As a result of the move, new phone numbers have been assigned to the Raleigh based Brownfields Program Staff.
Effective OCTOBER 24, 2011 the new contact numbers will be:
The mailing address will be:
Mail Service Center 1646
The physicall address will be:
217 W. Jones Street
Jul 27, 2011
SAVE THE DATE – September 20, 2011, for the Southern Appalachian Brownfields Workshop.
The U.S. Environmental Protection agency is sponsoring a Brownfields Workshop in Asheville, NC on September 20, 2011. Presented in cooperation with the National Association of Local Government Environmental Professionals (NALGEP), the Brownfields Community Network, and the states of the Southern Appalachians (Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee), this conference will arm attendees with the latest information and techniques for supporting local economic development through brownfields. Come and learn lessons of success in starting up the brownfields economic engine for your local community, including information on federal grants, liability protection for developers, and breaking financing barriers from lenders. Link to more information and agenda HERE.
(Agenda updated on 9/8/11)
Jul 5, 2011
Brownfields File Room is Projected to be Closed September and October
Due to the relocation of the Brownfields Program to the new Green Square Complex, the file room is projected to be closed during the months of September and October 2011. Project files will not be available for review during this time.
Jan 19, 2011
REMINDER - Land Use Restriction Updates Due in January
January is the month when owners of most Brownfields Properties must submit their Land Use Restrictions Updates (LURUs). If needed, you may request a LURU Form by contacting David Peacock at David.Peacock@ncdenr.gov.
November 1, 2010
City of Lexington Seeks Developer for its Depot District Brownfields Project
The City of Lexington, NC is a Prospective Developer in the NC Brownfield Program for a former furniture manufacturing property, now known as the Lexington Home Brands Plant 1 site (LHB Plant 1) in downtown Lexington. The City is seeking a professional firm(s) to prepare a Depot District Redevelopment Plan in downtown Lexington, a portion of which includes the LHB Plant 1 site. The City of Lexington purchased the LHB Plant 1 property that consists of approximately 18 acres and 1 million square feet of building space. The objective is to formulate a Depot District Redevelopment Plan that would maximize the potential use, character and value of the former LHB Plant 1 property.
July 1, 2010
$75 Million in Funding Available--HUD-DOT Announce Community Challenge Grants and TIGER II Planning Grants
U.S. Departments of Transportation (DOT) and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will join forces to award up to $75 million in funding — $35 million in TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) II Planning Grants and $40 million in Sustainable Community Challenge Grants for localized planning activities that ultimately lead to projects that integrate transportation, housing and economic development.
The new program builds on the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, an innovative new interagency collaboration, launched by President Obama in June 2009, between the Department of ransportation (DOT), the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Partnership is designed to remove the traditional federal government silos that exist between departments and strategically target the agencies' transportation, land use, environmental, housing and community development resources to provide communities the resources they need to build more livable, sustainable communities.
TIGER II Planning Grants may be used to plan, prepare or design surface transportation projects that would be eligible for funding under the TIGER II Discretionary Grant program. These projects include highways, bridges, transit, railways, ports or bicycle and pedestrian facilities.
HUD's Sustainable Communities funding will target urban and community planning projects that foster reform and reduce barriers to achieving affordable, economically vital and sustainable communities. Such efforts may include amending or replacing local master plans, zoning codes, and building codes either on a jurisdiction-wide basis or in a specific neighborhood or sector to promote mixed-use development, affordable housing and the re-use of older buildings for new purposes with the goal of promoting sustainability at the local level.
For more information: http://www.hud.gov/offices/adm/grants/nofa10/huddotnofa.cfm.
July 1, 2010
Brownfield Grant Will Help Clean Up Contaminated Land in Charlotte
The City of Charlotte has been awarded a $400,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to decontaminate land, making it suitable for development. The City’s Engineering & Property Management (E&PM) and Neighborhood and Business Services (NBS) departments teamed up to apply for and win the federal grant. In April, the City was selected by the EPA for a Brownfield Community-Wide Assessment Grant. The $400,000 competitive grant provides funds for developing inventories of brownfield properties, prioritizing sites, conducting community involvement activities and conducting site assessments and cleanup planning.
“With this grant, we can support both public and private development, which leads to job creation within the City's most economically distressed areas," said Environmental Program Manager David Wolfe.
The brownfields program encourages redevelopment of contaminated sites such as abandoned gas stations, old textile mills and other industrial and commercial properties. Grant funds in Charlotte will support environmental assessment activities within the City’s Business Corridor Revitalization geographical area. For more info click HERE.
For additional information contact:
May 24, 2010
City of Durham Brownfields Job Fair and Reception
The City of Durham Office of Economic and Workforce Development has been training qualified applicants for technician positions in the environmental workforce. This robust, focused training program provides the certifications workers need to "hit the ground running" and have an immediate, positive impact on your company. It was designed by local environmental professionals and is the only one of its kind in North Carolina.
The City of Durham would like for you to have the opportunity to meet and talk with program graduates about your business and invites you to the first ever Brownfields Job Fair and Reception. The event will take place on May 27, 2010, from 1:45 to 4:00 pm, at the Durham Technical Community College Corporate Education Center located at 1637 Lawson Street, Durham NC 27703.
Please RSVP to Katharine Neuman at 919-560-4965, ext. 15209, or by email at Katharine.Neumen@durhamnc.gov.
For more information please click HERE.
May 18, 2010
FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE OPPORTUNITY FOR BROWNFIELDS GRANTEES TO APPLY FOR GROUNDWORK USA PILOT FUNDING
The National Parks Service is offering a grant opportunity (up to $180,000) for EPA Brownfields Grantees to fund the establishment of a Groundwork USA trust. The letter of interest due date is June 16, 2010. The Groundwork USA Initiative is a pilot program of the National Park Service (NPS) Rivers and Trails Program in cooperation with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Brownfields Program to establish a network of independent nonprofit environmental businesses called Groundwork Trusts. The Groundwork USA Initiative builds the capacity of communities impacted by brownfields and derelict lands to improve their environment for conservation, recreation and economic development by supporting the establishment of locally organized and controlled Groundwork Trust organizations. Each Groundwork Trust represents a strong partnership between municipal government, business and civic leaders, foundations, churches, community organizations and residents. They are focused on delivering projects and programs to improve their communities’ environment, economy and quality of life. There are presently 20 Groundwork USA pilot communities across the United States. Details on this funding opportunity can be found here…GW USA Pilot Funding.pdf
May 11, 2010
Durham Holding Environmental Networking Session For EPA Job Training Grant Students
The City of Durham’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development has Development has utilized its EPA Brownfields Job Training Grant to train numerous students and is holding a job and networking session for its graduates. Environmental firms through throughout the research triangle area have been invited to attend. Hosted by the Research Triangle Foundation of NC, the session will take place at Foundation offices at 12 Davis Drive, Research Triangle Park, NC from 8:00 to 9:45 on May 17. RSVP requested, details found here. The Brownfields Program supports Durham’s job training efforts. Significant investment has been made in these students as they have received numerous OSHA-required training certifications. Please come out and network with the City and find out more about this valuable workforce!
Mar 1, 2010
Submittal of Reports in Electronic Format
As of March 1, 2010, all reports submitted to the Brownfields Program should be in electronic format.
Oct 2, 2009
New Public Comment Guidance Document Now Available
A new guidance document has been created to help Prospective Developers comply with the revised public comment requirements that took effect on October 1, 2009. The guidance document may be accessed on the “Statutes and Guidance” webpage, or by clicking HERE.
Sep 9, 2009
Brownfields Program • Mail Service Center 1646, Raleigh, North Carolina 27699-1646 • (919) 707-8383