Encouraging the redevelopment of contaminated properties through a variety of approaches.
Brownfields sites are defined under the federal brownfields law, known as the Brownfields Revitalization Act of 2002, as "real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.” The New Hampshire Brownfields Program encourages the redevelopment of contaminated properties through a variety of approaches that address the uncertainty and liability concerns associated with brownfields sites. These approaches include: Brownfields Covenant Program, Brownfields Assessment Program, Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund, and the NHDES/Grantee Brownfields Partnership.
Brownfields Covenant Program
The objective of New Hampshire’s Brownfields Covenant Program is to provide incentives in the form of liability protections for the investigation, cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated properties by those who did not cause or contribute to the contamination. An eligible person can obtain a “Covenant Not to Sue” and a “Certificate of Completion” from NHDES when site investigations and remedial actions are performed in accordance with NHDES cleanup requirements. Read more in our Brownfields Covenant fact sheet.
NHDES Brownfields Funding Opportunities
NHDES routinely receives requests from municipalities, nonprofits and other public entities to perform site assessments at potentially contaminated properties in their local communities. In response, we have developed an application form which municipalities, nonprofits, and other eligible entities can use to request a grant of technical assistance for site assessment and cleanup planning services. NHDES evaluates proposed projects to determine if they are eligible for brownfields assistance and if adequate funds are available.
Competitive grants for brownfields cleanup
On a biannual basis, NHDES holds a competitive grant competition for brownfields cleanup grants of up to $200,000 per site. The cleanup grants provide funding to conduct cleanup activities on properties where the redevelopment or reuse of the site is complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance or contaminant.
Revolving Loan Fund
Provides low-interest loans to property owners, developers and/or municipalities for the cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated properties, and to promote economic development or enable the creation or preservation of greenspace. With the availability of RLF funds for low-interest loans not otherwise available or obtainable from traditional commercial lenders, there is a greater willingness by businesses and developers to take on the risk associated with remediation and subsequent redevelopment.
NHDES/Grantee Brownfields Partnership
The US Environmental Protection Agency provides direct grants to municipalities, other eligible government agencies and nonprofit organizations for brownfields assessment and cleanup. These grants are awarded through a competitive application process conducted by EPA during the fall of each year.
In an effort to help New Hampshire grantees maximize the effectiveness of their grant dollars and the success of their efforts, NHDES offers the assistance of a staff engineer or geologist to serve as a brownfields grant liaison. The liaison works closely with the grantee to provide technical assistance with implementing their grant work plan. This assistance can include serving as a non-voting member of advisory committees, helping vet proposed sites, and reviewing the various technical documents prepared pursuant to their respective grants.
While this program does not provide direct financial assistance to recipients, it helps build productive, mutually beneficial relationships between NHDES and our local communities. See a success story.
NHDES’ Brownfields Program is primarily funded via a USEPA Brownfields State Response Program Grant with the main objective of maintaining and enhancing our capacity to investigate and clean up contaminated sites and return those properties to productive use. The cooperative agreement for this grant requires NHDES to maintain an inventory of brownfields sites and a public record regarding the sites where remedial actions were completed in the previous year and a list of sites where remedial actions are anticipated to be implemented during the current grant period.
NHDES’ inventory of brownfields sites is comprised of sites where NHDES has performed work using federal Brownfields assessment funds; sites remediated or are being remediated with funds from NHDES’ Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund (RLF); sites where other EPA Brownfields assessment, cleanup and/or RLF grantees within New Hampshire have performed work; EPA Targeted Brownfields Assessment sites; and sites that have participated in state-sponsored brownfields initiatives, such as the Brownfields Covenant Program. Find a list of brownfields sites that is sortable by site number, site name, address and municipality on NHDES OneStop.
Records for all remediation sites, including brownfields sites, are available to the public via NHDES’ OneStop Data and Information website. These records include electronic copies of all site investigation, remediation, and environmental monitoring reports submitted to NHDES’ Hazardous Waste Remediation Bureau since circa September 2005 and scanned copies of many older documents. Historical reports that have not yet been scanned into the database can be physically reviewed by the public at NHDES’ Concord office.
NHDES’ public record for its State Response Program includes a summary of sites where remedial actions were completed during the previous year. This includes sites where NHDES has issued a Certificate of Completion or a Certificate of No Further Action. NHDES also provides a summary of sites at which remedial actions are anticipated to be implemented during the current grant period. This includes sites where NHDES-approved remedial action plans are in place. This listing can be found here: Brownfields Public Record/CERCLA 128(a) Grant.