Funding will help implement economic development plan for former Verso Paper Mill
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded the Eastern Maine Development Corporation $200,000 to support a development and implementation strategy in Bucksport for the former Verso Paper Mill project area. The funding is awarded through the Brownfield Area-Wide Planning program which aims to engage communities to help clean-up old sites for economic development initiatives.
“The Brownfields Program has helped communities across Maine rebuild unused properties, and with the closing of Verso Paper Mill in 2014, this funding will help support the revitalization of the Bucksport region and bolster its economy,” Senators Collins and King said. “The grant will support a market study to evaluate new opportunities for the former mill space, which we hope will lead to a comprehensive strategy for economic development initiatives in the area.”
With this funding, the Eastern Maine Development Corporation will work with the community and other stakeholders to develop an area-wide plan for the former Verso Paper Mill. The 117-acre area, located along the Penobscot River, also contains vacant buildings that once housed a tannery and a steel mill. The grant will include a market study to analyze the local and regional market for the former mill space to enhance economic competitiveness.
A Brownfield site is property that contains a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant, which hinders the potential to reuse or redevelop the site. The EPA's Brownfields Program assists states and local communities as they assess, safely clean up, and reuse Brownfield sites for economic development projects.