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Lewiston to Make $150,000 Loan From Brownfields Fund

Release Date: 05/01/2003
Contact Information: Andrew Spejewski, EPA Press Office, 617-918-1014

BOSTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced it has approved a $150,000 loan to the Lewiston Mill Redevelopment Corporation from the city of Lewiston's Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund. The loan will be used to cleanup environmental contamination at the Bates Mill in Lewiston. The revolving loan fund was established in 1999 with a $500,000 EPA grant, and requires EPA approval for loans.

"This is going to help Lewiston renovate the mill and rebuild their downtown," said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator for EPA's New England Office. "That's what the brownfields program is about, and what the revolving loan fund was established for."

"Much of Lewiston's history has revolved around the Bates Mill Complex," said Lewiston Mayor Laurier T. Raymond, Jr. "The loan will make it possible to redevelop the remaining buildings at the Bates Mill Complex. Bates Mill is well on its way to becoming a vital center of downtown activity once again."

The Bates Mill is a former wool mill, which shut down most operations in 1992, leaving only 50 employees in the 1.2 million square foot complex. The city used EPA brownfields grants totaling $275,000 to assess environmental contamination at the Mill. The results spurred EPA to remove PCB contamination, asbestos and leaking drums in 1999. The city took title to the property, which is managed by the Lewiston Mill Redevelopment Corporation, and has been actively redeveloping the complex. Three buildings in the complex have already been turned over to private developers. There are now 1,200 jobs within the mill, with over 5,000 jobs projected to be housed by the structure at full redevelopment.

The loan will be used to clean contaminated soil within the building complex, in order to allow redevelopment of the affected portions of the complex. The redevelopment corporation will repay the loan with proceeds from leasing the cleaned up space, allowing further loans to be made from the fund.

EPA's brownfields program is designed to help spur the beneficial re-use of properties that are abandoned because of a fear of environmental contamination. Since 1994, EPA has awarded over $3.7 million in brownfields funding in Maine. For more information on the brownfields program in New England, visit