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Banner, reinvesting in Rhode Island Brownfields
New Brownfields Bond Fund Regulations (RFP)

Assessment Demonstration Pilot

Showcase Community Grant

Targeted Brownfields Assessment

Revolving Loan Fund

Federal Brownfields Tax Credit

Mill Building Tax Credit

Historic Tax Credit (Federal and State)

Job Training Program

Tax Incentive Program  

Financial Assistance 

A variety of incentives are available from state and federal sources to encourage developers to invest in contaminated, or potentially contaminated underutilized properties.   Economic development agencies have identified critical enterprise zones whose revitalization is desirable.   Historic preservation agencies administer tax credits to restore buildings that have been recognized as important for their historic design and cultural value.   Environmental agencies see it in their best interest to provide assistance to clean up sites that pose a public health or environmental contamination risk.  Check the information and links below for more specific information, including the "What's New" link. 

Assessment Grants

This EPA sponsored program allows public agencies to identify, inventory, characterize, assess, and conduct planning and community involvement related to brownfield sites.
Eligibility  Local, State or Tribal Governments.  Existing awardees may apply for additional funding.
Type of Funding  Grant used to conduct site investigations and related activities at brownfield sites.
Amounts  Up to $200,000 over 2 years
Availability  National competition annually.
More Information   Application guidelines from EPA
Contact Blue diamond-shaped bullet   Jim Byrne, Brownfields Coordinator, EPA Region One  617-918-1389

Targeted Brownfields Assessments Program

This EPA/DEM program is designed to help communities reduce the uncertainties surrounding actual or perceived contamination associated with properties in their neighborhoods.
Eligibility Public or Non-Profit organizations (that partner with a public entity) acting as voluntary parties and that have redevelopment plans for a brownfield site. Responsible parties are not eligible.
Type of Funding  Site Investigations performed by environmental consultants under contract with the state.
Amounts  Cost of Site Investigation 
Application Targeted Brownfields Assessment Application from DEM
(to obtain copy, e-mail Cynthia Gianfrancesco at cindy.gianfrancesco@dem.ri.gov)
More Information   DEM and EPA Program descriptions  
Contact Blue diamond-shaped bullet Cynthia Gianfrancesco, Principal Environmental Scientist, Office of Waste Management  222-2797 ext.7126

Revolving Loan Fund 

Through its Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund (RLF), the Economic Development Corporation can provide low-interest loans and grants to assist in cleaning up abandoned or underutilized properties. In 2003, the State was awarded its second RLF from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency providing $3 million for brownfields cleanup assistance. Portions of the funding are earmarked for sites in Providence and Pawtucket.

The program is intended to provide a sustainable financing mechanism for site cleanup and consequent return of the properties to beneficial, economically productive use. EDC staff assist applicants in applying for loans and grants. The Small Business Loan Fund Corporation (SBLFC),a wholly owned subsidiary of EDC serves as fund manager. As a "revolving" loan fund, the program uses loan repayments (principal, plus interest and fees) to make new loans for the same authorized purposes.

EDC also administers additional economic development loan programs which could be used to finance brownfields redevelopment.   (See: RIEDC's loan programs pages.)
Eligibility A public, private, or not-for-profit entity that has control over or access to an eligible site may qualify for a loan. The applicant must be authorized to enter into legally binding agreements and to incur debt, be financially sound, and have an economically viable redevelopment plan. A public or not-for-profit entity that owns an eligible brownfields site, and meets the criteria above (except for having authority to incur debt), may qualify for a subgrant. To be considered an eligible borrower or grantee, an entity cannot be considered potentially liable for cleaning up the site under the Superfund law or under Rhode Island laws. A Site Investigation Report on the property must have been completed in accordance with DEM rules and procedures (See: The Process ).
Type of Funding Loans at below-market rates are available to remediate eligible brownfields sites. For non-profit organizations or eligible public entities, grants are also available.
Amounts The minimum loan amount is $50,000; the maximum varies, and should be discussed in advance with the relevant city planning department. The maximum subgrant amount is $200,000.
Terms and Conditions The maximum loan term is five (5) years, although exceptions may be made. Repayments of principal and/or interest are made monthly.
More Information   See: Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund (Overview, Eligibility, Criteria, Process, Application/Resources
Contact Blue diamond-shaped bullet  William J. Parsons,  Brownfields Coordinator, Economic Development Corporation, 278-9100 x130

Mill Building Tax Credit

The Mill Building Revitalization Act provides tax incentives for investors in 11 participating municipalities.  EDC oversee the program aimed to assist developers renovate certified mill buildings.
Eligibility Mill buildings identified by participating communities:  Bristol, Burrillville, North Providence, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, Providence, Warren, West Warwick and Woonsocket. (Check eligibility on the RIEDC page.  Click on each municipality for a property listing.)
Type of Funding Tax credit
Amounts - Specialized Investment Tax Credit: A credit up to 10% of the cost of the substantial rehabilitation.
- Lenders Tax Credit: Up to 10% of the interest earned on loans (up to $10,000 per year) to eligible businesses or a credit equal to 100% of the interest earned on capital improvement loans (up to $20,000 per year).
- Business Tax Credit: Certified Enterprise Zone businesses may receive a credit of up to 100% of new employees wages (up to $3,000 per employee).   If the building is within an enterprise zone a further credit for up to 50% of the new employees wages are eligible (up to $10,000 per employee). 
More Information   See EDC pages on Business Assistance
Contact Blue diamond-shaped bullet   Victor Barros, Economic Development Corporation, (401) 222-2601

Historic Building  Tax Credits

The Rhode Island Historic Preservation and Heritage Commission administers both the federal and the new state tax credit programs. 

Rhode Island's state tax credit for the rehabilitation of historic commercial structures will took effect in January, 2002.   (See: bill text,   See: regulations)
Eligibility To be eligible, the structure must be one of the over 900 structures in the State listed on the National Register for Historic Places and a depreciable property.   The rehabilitation costs must exceed 100% of the adjusted basis of the building or $5,000, whichever is greater.  The rehabilitation must be completed within a 24-month period.  
Type of Funding Income tax credit
Amounts Up to 20 percent of the cost for the federal program.   The state program allows for an additional 30 percent of major renovation costs to be credited.   
Terms and Conditions In order to qualify for the state program,  the cost of the rehabilitation project must equal at least 50% of the adjusted basis of the property.   
More Information   See: RI Historic Preservation and Heritage Commission's page
Contact Blue diamond-shaped bullet  Virginia Hesse Principal Historical Architect, RIHPHC, 222-2678

Brownfields Job Training and Development Demonstration Pilot Program

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced January 7, 2002 that the nonprofit group, Groundwork Providence, has been awarded a $200,000 EPA grant to start a Brownfields job training program. Groundwork Providence will use the grant to train 90 underemployed or unemployed Providence residents as environmental cleanup technicians, who will be qualified for jobs redeveloping abandoned or underused sites in the Providence area. (EPA Press Release)
Eligibility Must be a resident of an Enterprise Community in Providence, RI
Type of Funding Grant used to fund an environmental training program
Amounts $200,000 over 2 years 
Terms and Conditions Grants are awarded through a national competition. The program will recruit 45 students for each of the two years. 
More Information  EPA Press Release
Contact Sally Turner, Assistant Director, Groundworks Providence (401) 351-6440

Brownfields Tax Incentive

The Brownfields Tax Incentive, which expired on December 31, 2003, was renewed when the President signed the Working Families Tax Relief Act (Public Law §108-313) in October 2004. The law extended the period that taxpayers can take advantage of this benefit from the time it expired through December 31, 2005. Since 1997, the Brownfields Tax Incentive has allowed taxpayers to deduct cleanup costs in the year they are incurred, rather than having to be capitalized. For additional information go to: http://www.epa.gov/swerosps/bf/bftaxinc.htm.

New materials are now on the EPA website about the Federal Brownfields Tax Incentive and Treasury's New Markets Tax Credit Program and how they can benefit brownfields cleanup and redevelopment. Please visit http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/mmatters.htm to see the four Tax Incentive case studies and New Markets fact sheet.


last updated: 9/23/15

This site is a joint effort of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management
Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation and Rhode Island Statewide Planning Program

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