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Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund


Under a Cooperative Agreement with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) dated September 20, 2000, the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation (RIEDC) in conjunction with the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) received a $1 million EPA Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund Pilot Grant. The proceeds of this grant will establish the Rhode Island Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund (RIBCRLF). Target areas for Brownfields cleanup and redevelopment are the urban communities within the State. Loans with below market fixed interest rates and flexible repayment terms will be made to qualified Brownfield owners/developers to finance eligible site cleanup costs. Once sites are remediated, the loans may be refinanced as part of the redevelopment project financing. Community input is an important component in the decision-making process of the RIBCRLF to insure that there are public benefits as well as economic benefits from Brownfields redevelopment projects.

Presently there are virtually no private funding resources in the state to finance the cleanup of Brownfields. This has been a critical factor in the lack of Brownfield redevelopment, and has contributed to the proliferation of urban sprawl. Fortunately, the EPA has provided significant start up funding for assessment and now thorght the BCRLF the remediation of Brownfield sites.  The EPA capitalization funding of the RIBCRLF provides the means for RIEDC and RIDEM to offer public support to achieve remediation and help catalyze additional investment to fulfill development goals.  The RIBCRLF will promote community interests in Brownfields projects and attract private capital to finance the redevelopment of sites.


Cleaning up Brownfields for redevelopment is a critical component to the future community revitalization and economic growth of the State's urban areas. The goals and objectives of the RIBCRLF are to:

  • Remediate and return Brownfields to productive use, to create jobs, contribute to the tax base, and reclaim public enjoyment of natural resources;  
  • Eliminate potential and actual risks to human health and the environment;
  • Provide appropriate protection to prevent further environmental degradation of the state's natural resources (An EPA report estimates that for every acre of redeveloped Brownfield property, 4.5 acres of greenspace are spared);

  • Leverage private and public funds to create jobs, community revitalization and economic growth;

  • Involve community groups as part of the Brownfields cleanup decision-making process; and

  • Improve the quality of life near and around the Brownfields in environmental justice neighborhoods, where citizens may bear a disproportionate share of the risks and consequences of environmental pollution and the economic impacts from underutilized properties.

Financial Resources

The initial grant from the EPA to capitalize the Brownfield Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund was $1 million.  The EPA has committed more than $100 million to these loan funds on a national level, and allows each state to apply for additional funding on an annual basis.  The most important factor for receiving additional funding from the EPA is the loan fund's success in coordinating projects and financially supporting the revitalization of Brownfields.  For this reason, the Economic Development Corporation has several loan applications in progress and is continuously working with federal, non-profit, and private partners to broaden the portfolio of financial resources to benefit the Rhode Island communities burdened by Brownfields.

last updated: 04/03/03

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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