McKee Administration Announces New Round of Brownfields Grant Funding Now Available

Published on Thursday, July 06, 2023

PROVIDENCE, RI – The Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is announcing new funding opportunities for the cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated properties, known as brownfields, across Rhode Island. DEM is seeking proposals for brownfield site redevelopment projects that will support the cleanup of contaminated property to transform underused brownfield sites into locations that add value to communities. 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.

"Rhode Island has made tremendous strides in cleaning up vacant and contaminated industrial sites and converting them into prime real estate, which reduces environmental and health threats while revitalizing neighborhoods, increasing the tax base, and ensuring a cleaner future for all," said Governor McKee. "These new funding opportunities will continue to build on Rhode Island's momentum."

The 2023 Brownfields Bond Fund Grant is the first availability of grant funding from the $4 million brownfield revitalization investment that was included in the 2022 Green Bond, which was approved by almost 70 percent of Rhode Island voters. 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, increase the community tax base, and revitalize streets and neighborhoods.

“Investing in the cleanup and redevelopment of brownfields creates jobs, spurs economic growth, and promotes healthy communities,” said DEM Director Terry Gray. “We’re proud of the success we’ve achieved with our partners by investing in the cleanup of brownfield sites across the state, which has helped build new schools, businesses, affordable housing, and green energy projects. We look forward to partnering with the successful applicants on this new grant opportunity.”

The State has already invested more than $14 million for 62 projects in 15 communities across Rhode Island through DEM’s Brownfields Remediation and Economic Development Fund. Half of State funding has developed projects in EJ areas. This money has leveraged more than $948 million in other investments, supported thousands of jobs, and cleaned up over 200 acres of contaminated brownfields, which has resulted in new businesses, school expansions, housing, and recreational space on formerly vacant properties in communities throughout Rhode Island.

Rhode Island’s brownfields grant program 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.

How to Apply:

The Request for Proposals (RFP) opened on June 21, with an application deadline of August 3, 2023. Final proposals and supporting materials are due by 4 PM on Thursday, August 3, 2023. Government, private, and nonprofit entities are eligible to apply. Project selection will be determined on a competitive basis. Electronic submissions to are required, hard copies will not be accepted. The application form and RFP guidelines are available at DEM’s Site Remediation page.

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