News Releases

April 15, 2015

Applications Now Being Accepted for Program to Streamline the Redevelopment of Brownfield Sites

The Brownfield Economic Revitalization Alliance (BERA), a partnership of the Agency of Natural Resources, Agency of Commerce & Community Development and Agency of Transportation, is now accepting applications from developers and municipalities to participate in an innovative program intended to bring unused or underutilized brownfields back into economic productivity. Brownfields are defined as property where expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the presence or threatened release of a hazardous material. Selected sites will receive priority funding from the state, as well as coordinated and timely permitting.

BERA program participants benefit from increased coordination between funding and regulatory agencies and private sector developers. This team approach simplifies and fast-tracks revitalization projects, and ensures that issues are identified and resolved quickly. Streamlining the redevelopment process allows host communities to enjoy the benefits of a revitalized downtown center; vital and more sustainable communities; the preservation of historic and architecturally significant structures; job creation; and an increased tax base. The process can also stimulate further economic recovery by creating an echo effect on surrounding properties.

"The BERA partnership is excited to invite those interested in property re-vitalization to submit an application so that we can help jump-start additional brownfield redevelopment projects across Vermont," said Agency of Natural Resources Secretary Deb Markowitz. "Past projects such as the redevelopment of the Vermont Tissue property in Bennington and the Gosse Court Armory in Burlington have made a tangible difference to their communities. We're hopeful that more Vermont cities, towns and villages will join the ranks of these success stories."

"This is a great opportunity to tackle complicated projects or sites due to the presence of on-site contamination," commented Agency of Commerce and Community Development Secretary Patricia Moulton. "Many of these sites are valuable resources in the heart of Vermont Communities. This work is a recognition it takes a team approach to move good work forward."

BERA saves project developers time and money by enhancing the lines of communication among federal, state, regional and local officials and providing funding to assist with technical hurdles. Prioritizing state permit review and establishing ambitious timelines for project completion allows BERA teams to expedite projects, eliminate duplicative reviews, and foster partnerships with the development community. Ultimately, the goal of the each team is to create solutions to complex problems plaguing the development of key downtown properties.

BERA is administered by the Agency of Commerce and Community Development, the Agency of Natural Resources, and the Agency of Transportation. Created in 2013, BERA collaboratively advances complex brownfield projects toward redevelopment and fosters new economic opportunity as a result.

Applications for the BERA program are due by April 30, 2015. Projects will be selected by May 29, 2015.

For more INFORMATION and to APPLY contact Trish Coppolino, Sites Management Section Chief, Department of Environmental Conservation, who will be happy to assist with project development, the application process and questions.

patricia.coppolino@state.vt.us; 802-249-5822; http://www.anr.state.vt.us/dec/wastediv/SMS/RCPP/BERA.htm

Source: Agency of Natural Resources
Last Updated at: April 15, 2015 16:03:18