The story of Biddeford’s revitalization, as told in the March 10 article “Not your parents’ city anymore: Biddeford is now Maine’s youngest,” provides a model for how old mill towns around the region can become thriving, young cities. Thanks to a visionary local government, a supportive state and committed citizens, a community with an aging population and housing stock was able to turn itself around and become a hub for youth and development.

The progress made in Biddeford represents just the kind of results the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection envision as a consequence of their investment in abandoned and potentially contaminated properties through their brownfields programs.

Our agencies’ strong partnership with the Southern Maine Planning & Development Commission, city officials and developers paved the way for brownfields funding to be used to assess contamination or clean 24 sites in Biddeford, including each of the former mills that are now being successfully redeveloped. As an example, the $7 million invested by the regional planning commission through its Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund brought in $120 million from other funding sources for the mills.

Keep up the good work, Biddeford.

Deborah Szaro

acting regional administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
New England Regional Office


Gerald D. Reid

commissioner, Maine Department of Environmental Protection


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