Brownfields Process

The Southern Maine Planning and Development Commission’s Brownfield Redevelopment Program helps convert Brownfields from community liabilities into community assets by providing funding and guidance to navigate the environmental process from environmental site assessment (ESA) to cleanup.  

Three Step Process

Brownfields is sometimes considered a three-step process.  These steps precede redevelopment and identify potential funding sources.  Although redevelopment of a Brownfield occurs after site cleanup, plans for reuse are generally produced earlier during the process.

1.  Phase I ESA

A research report that documents the history and current status of a property and identifies potential environmental concerns.

Funding (grants) sources available for Phase I investigations:

  • MDEP
  • EPA

2.  Phase II ESA

Based on the findings of the Phase I report, a Phase II investigation confirms whether or not contamination is actually present at the site.  Typically, soil, paint, asbestos and groundwater samples are collected at the site and analyzed for suspected contaminants.

Funding (grants) sources available for Phase II investigations:

  • MDEP
  • EPA


3. Cleanup/Remediation

If contamination is found in the samples collected during Phase II investigation, cleanup/remediation may be required to remove the contaminants prior to development.

Funding available for cleanup/remediation:

  • Cleanup loans to for profits, non-profits or municipalities from SMPDC or MDEP
  • Cleanup grants to municipalities or non-profits only from SMPDC, MDEP & EPA 


SMPDC – Southern Maine Planning and Development Commission

MDEP – Maine Department of Environmental Protection

EPA – Environmental Protection Agency