Sylvia A. Mosser, AICPResource Conservation PlannerMD Department of Planning301 West Preston StreetSuite 1101Baltimore, MD 21201
The Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) serves as a resource, liaison, and facilitator for brownfield remediation and redevelopment. Planning connects local planning jurisdictions and other interested parties throughout the State with brownfield assessment, cleanup, planning, and redevelopment funding and incentive opportunities through State and federal government agencies and identifies technical and financial resources to help navigate the brownfield process. Planning also helps prepare grant applications and helps access other types of funding and tax incentives.
“A brownfield is a property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.” ~United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Maryland's brownfields provide a unique opportunity for communities to meet economic development goals, environmental protection and sustainability goals, and help achieve local comprehensive plan visions and objectives. Maryland’s brownfields can also be assets for revitalization, reinvestment, and redevelopment.
There are approximately 1,782 sites (as of June 6, 2019) recorded in Maryland’s Land Restoration Program, which consists of the Voluntary Cleanup Program, Oil Control Program, Controlled Hazardous Substances, EPA National Priority List, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Corrective Action, and active brownfield sites. However, this statistic is dynamic based on new program listings, closure and/or remediation of sites, etc.
The Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP) was established by the state legislature in 1997 and is administered by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) Land and Materials Administration's Land Restoration Program (LMA-LRP) to provide State oversight for the voluntary cleanup of properties contaminated with hazardous substances. The goal of the program is to increase the number of sites cleaned by streamlining the cleanup process while ensuring compliance with existing environmental regulations.
Maryland’s Brownfields Revitalization Incentive Program (BRIP) was also established in 1997 to further support Maryland's Smart Growth efforts and is administered by the Maryland Department of Commerce. BRIP is available to properties that have gone through the VCP and received a Maryland Department of Commerce designation as a qualified brownfields site; eligible properties also must be located within a jurisdiction that has enacted local BRIP legislation. Eligible sites earn a 50% property tax credit on the increase (the difference between the pre-remediation and post-remediation tax assessments) of county and/or municipal real property tax. Qualified brownfields may receive an additional 20% credit if the property meets additional criteria as established by the participating jurisdiction. Brownfields located within an Enterprise Zone may receive the tax credit for up to 10 years, and properties outside these zones receive the credit for five years. As of January 2019, jurisdictions that have enacted BRIP legislation include: Allegany, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Cecil, Dorchester, Frederick, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George’s, Queen Anne’s, Somerset, and Worcester counties – and the following municipalities: Baltimore City, Colmar Manor, Cumberland, Frederick, Salisbury, and Taneytown.
The MDE Brownfields Site Assessment Initiative utilized federal funding to conduct site assessments (Phase I and Phase II, if required) at private and publicly owned brownfield sites from 1997 through 2008. The MDE assessments were conducted within the purview of a Memorandum of Understanding between MDE and the EPA Region III. Although this funding is currently not available through MDE, federal funds for brownfield assessments remain available.
Planning has initiated a Brownfield Redevelopment Outreach Program to connect local planning jurisdictions throughout the State with brownfield assessment and cleanup funding opportunities through EPA and identify additional technical and financial resources to help jurisdictions and other interested parties navigate the brownfield process.
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