Reclaiming industrial sites for reuse.

Affected by years of use in a less environmentally sensitive era, many prime properties require cleanup and reclamation before they can be developed. To clean up these properties, the Washington State Department of Commerce, King County/Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma and the Department of Ecology have created the Washington Coalition, which offers property owners low-interest loans that can be used to assess and clean up sites.

The coalition works with investors and developers to get a good idea of what a cleanup will entail, including its potential costs. It also links loan recipients to other Brownfields programs and streamlines the process for cleaning a site up and redeveloping it by coordinating the efforts of federal, state and local agencies. Administered and managed by the Department of Commerce, the Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund is designed for commercial and industrial brownfield properties that have been idled, are underutilized or have been abandoned because of the threat of real or perceived contamination. Low-interest loans from the fund can be used to assess properties and initiate the cleanup process.

The program has been very successful too. For every $1 the state has spent to clean up Brownfields sites, it has generated $12 in local and state tax revenues, $14 in payroll value, and $64 in business revenue.

Site eligibility is based on many factors, including the urgency of the project, the threat of contamination and the time frame for cleaning the site up. To be eligible for a loan, the applicant can’t be the one that caused the contamination, the site must have some near-term economic viability, it must result in net job creation or retention and it has to improve the existing conditions of the environment.

Want more information on the Brownfields Revolving Loan Program? Visit Commerce’s Brownfields page.

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