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Brownfields Reuse Initiative
Technical Assistance Program Criteria


The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation provides technical and financial assistance to qualified applicants who intend to redevelop a contaminated property.  Project assistance ranges from completion of a Phase I assessment, through corrective action planning and cleanup, depending on specific project needs, available funding and other considerations.  All work approved under this program is paid for by the Department and performed by pre-qualified consultants who are under contract with the Department to perform these services.

Participation is open to prospective purchasers and current owners of contaminated property.  Applicants can have neither caused nor contributed to the contamination nor be connected to any person or organization that has caused or contributed to the contamination.  Assistance is limited to $200,000.00 per project.

Applications for assistance will be evaluated based on the criteria identified below, and ranked in accordance with the number of points received.  Some criteria are weighted more heavily than others as they represent fundamental program objectives.  Other criteria support additional program objectives and a project’s relative ranking will benefit to the extent that it will also further these objectives.  Maximum points allowed for each criterion is noted.  Partial points can be awarded for demonstration of addressing sub-criteria.

Application Criteria

As a prerequisite, applicants must have a redevelopment plan and they must demonstrate that they will be ready to proceed with the work for which assistance is requested by April 1, 2010.  Applicants must also demonstrate that the assistance will substantially advance their project to the next stage.  Proposals that do not meet these requirements will not be ranked and will not be considered for assistance.

Methods of demonstrating readiness to proceed will vary based upon the stage of the project, but may include: property access agreements; option agreements; purchase and sale agreements; completed phase I site assessments; approved site investigation work plans; approved corrective action plans; valid permits and approvals; planning and design documents and financial commitments.

All successful applicants are required to submit a fully executed property access agreement within 30 days of approval of their application.  A copy of the approved form of access agreement is included as Schedule A to the application.  Only the approved form will be accepted.  Failure to submit an executed access agreement within 30 days of notification of award may result in withdrawal of the award.  In that case, assistance may be provided to another qualified applicant at the Department's discretion.

Application Scoring

The following criteria will be utilized in reviewing and scoring all applications.  Applicants should provide documentation that demonstrates how their project meets these criteria.

1. Redevelopment Plan.  Project presents a redevelopment plan that is clearly defined, feasible and supported by the community. 

    • A conceptual redevelopment plan exists and clearly identifies the type and general configuration of the proposed reuse.
      • The redevelopment plan should include site features such as buildings and other infrastructure.
      • The project timeline is realistic and identifies significant milestones.
    • The project is feasible, taking into consideration the local and regional economic strengths and needs.
      • Supporting documentation may include a market study, feasibility study, business plan analysis or reports generated by local or regional planning entities or other organizations or agencies.
      • Demonstrate experience with brownfields redevelopment and experience with the type of redevelopment contemplated (i.e. housing, commercial, industrial, etc.)
    • The intended reuse makes sense as it relates to the known contamination or the contamination that is likely to exist taking into consideration historic uses of the property.
    • Community and stakeholder input has been sought and the community supports the project.

      • Demonstration of meeting this criterion may include letters of support from a regional planning commission, municipality, or community organization; outcomes of stakeholder meetings or project/design charrettes; or other proof of stakeholder input.

2. Environmental and Human Health Benefits.  Investigative and remedial activities will identify, characterize or reduce existing threats to human health and the environment. 

  • Explain the environmental threats that will be addressed by the work to be performed.

  • Explain the human health threats that will be addressed by the work to be performed.

3. Ecological Enhancements.  Identify project features that will result in positive ecological impacts (or lessen potentially negative impacts) through utilization of advanced design characteristics such as the following. 

    • Green building features (LEED certification).
    • Non-structural BMP’s for stormwater management.
      • Wetlands creation/preservation.
    • Renewable energy technologies.
    • Land conservation.

4. Smart Growth.  Explain how the project advances smart growth through use of the following, or other, means. 

    • Located in or near a designated downtown or village center.
    • Utilization of existing infrastructure.
    • Preservation of historic features and buildings.
    • Mixed use features.

5. Leveraged Funding.  Demonstrate that other funds are being brought to the project.  Identify the amount and source(s) of the other funds and their intended uses (site investigation, design work, cleanup, construction, etc.)

6. Statewide Community and Economic Development Goals.  Demonstrate that the project addresses statewide goals by providing one or more of the following.

    • Economic Development
      • Brings new business or industry to the state.
      • Retention of an existing business or industry.
    • Job creation.
      • Number of jobs created, including types of jobs and salary levels.
      • Number of jobs retained.
    • Workforce (affordable) housing.
      • Number of units created or rehabilitated.
    • Creation of greenspace.
    • Municipal or community service facilities.

7. Enrollment under the Brownfields Reuse and Environmental Liability Limitation Act (10 V.S.A. §6641). 

Click here for the Technical Assistance application.













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