Brownfields Remediation Assistance

What is a brownfield? Brownfields are abandoned or underutilized properties on which redevelopment or reuse may be complicated by the presence or perceived presence of contamination. Brownfields are 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. Many brownfields lie abandoned or underused, and representing untapped opportunities for economic development. Furthermore, brownfields can potentially threaten public and environmental health.

What are the benefits of cleaning up a brownfield site? There are many benefits to cleaning up brownfield sites including improving the environment, promoting job growth, and enhancing the community.

To see if your property is already on the Mass DEP’s list of reportable release sites, please go to MassDEP’s waste site database.

The City of Somerville currently offers grants for the assessment of brownfields on eligible sites.

  • Site Assessment Grant

  • Brownfield Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund

The goal of Somerville’s Brownfields Assessment Program is to help property owners minimize the uncertainties of contamination often associated with brownfields. Funds are intended to kick-start a redevelopment process that ultimately results in new development with the goals of stabilizing neighborhoods, adding jobs and homes, and increasing the City's tax base.

Program Objectives

  • Assist developers/property owners with due diligence measures and estimates of liabilities
  • Engage community members regarding economic development priorities
  • Improve the quality of life for residents
  • Increase local job opportunities and tax revenue
  • Restore existing neighborhoods and commercial corridors
  • Return blighted and contaminated properties to productive use
  • Stimulate and promote economic development

Is my property eligible?

Site eligibility is based on a number of factors and we encourage you to talk with our Brownfields team about your property. Factors used to determine eligibility include:

  • Is there a plan for business growth or other redevelopment?
  • Is/has the property currently/previously regulated by MA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)?
  • What is the ownership status?
  • What is the history of uses on the site and surrounding properties?

To apply to our assessment grant fund program, please fill out our Brownfield Assessment application form. All sites must be approved for eligibility by the EPA. Prior to completing an application, please contact Emily Hedeman, Brownfields Redevelopment Specialist, [email protected] or 617-625-6600 x2546.

The Brownfield Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund (BCRLF) is a program created through grant awards from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Due to outstanding contamination issues, it is often difficult for redevelopers to secure financing for the remediation that is necessary to transform these areas into beneficial reuse for the community. The BCRLF intends to solve this problem by providing funds for environmental cleanup to redevelopers of brownfields. Cleanup activities must be completed in accordance with all federal and state regulations and within 12 months from the date that onsite cleanup activity is initiated. For more information on federal wage regulations, please click here.

Somerville does not currently have an active Brownfield Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund (BCRLF). However, we remain eligible to apply for future funding and are interested in hearing from parties who are interested in this type of funding.With past Revolving Loan Funds, the City of Somerville lent or granted money to help finance cleanup at brownfield sites on public and privately owned land.

For more information, contact Emily Hedeman, Brownfields Redevelopment Specialist, [email protected] or 617-625-6600 x2546.