Site Walk Follow Up - October 2022

Thank you for participating in the Yard South site walk on Saturday, October 29th. We enjoyed your questions and look forward to more conversations. One topic we want to address in particular, as this is a complex and important issue, is Brownfield remediation. The Yard South Site is considered a “Brownfields” Site; that is, a former industrial site where redevelopment and reuse has been affected by real or perceived environmental contamination.  Brownfield redevelopment stands in direct contrast to Greenfield development, which occurs when virgin/wooded land is used for development. In the spirit of reducing and reusing resources, the redevelopment of Brownfields Sites are a preferred method of sustainable redevelopment that capitalizes on existing infrastructure and land resources.

Anyone redeveloping a Brownfield site must perform Site assessment and cleanup activities in accordance with State (MaineDEP) and Federal (EPA) Brownfield laws that require the Site owner/developer to identify onsite contaminants and to adequately remediate those contaminants prior to Site redevelopment. These guidelines ensure that future users/occupants of a Brownfield Site are not exposed to any of the industrial contaminants which existed at the Site.

We’ve broken down this topic as it pertains to the Yard South redevelopment.

1.   Due Diligence: Several types of site assessments were performed:

Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA): Ransom Consulting evaluated the environmental condition of the Site for evidence of recognized environmental conditions and other potential risks. They documented the history and past use of the Site using available records and documented any past releases of hazardous materials that may have occurred at the Site.

Phase II Environmental Site Assessment: Based on the results of the Phase I ESA, Ransom performed a Phase II ESA. They collected soil, groundwater, soil vapor, and indoor air samples to identify the type and extent of contamination. Ransom also performed the assessment and removal of underground oil storage tanks. A summary report was generated which outlined their findings, and recommendations on how to best remediate the site for future residential and mixed use.

Hazardous Building Materials Inventory: Ransom performed an assessment of the on-Site buildings to determine if hazardous building materials were present. These materials require removal and disposal prior to any building renovation or demolition.  

2.  Remediation Cleanup Plan Our site-wide cleanup plan includes:

3.   Remediation Cleanup Process Early next year, a 3.16-acre waterfront area will have a soil cover system placed on it and the shoreline stabilized to prevent further erosion into the Fore River.

Remediation is extremely costly; the remainder of the site will be remediated as each parcel is developed. Until a parcel is remediated and approvals obtained from the MEDEP and EPA (in the form of VRAP Certificates of Completion), that parcel cannot be redeveloped. Our goal is for the entire Site to be remediated and to receive Certificates of Completion from the MEDEP.

Examples of local projects which were constructed on remediated Brownfield Sites include the Thornton Heights apartment complex, the South Portland Armory/Rusty Lantern Market, the Children's Museum and Theatre of Maine, Bayside Bowl and many more.

We look forward to seeing you at future site walks and meetings as the project evolves. If you have further questions please reach out to us directly at

Thank you,

Jen, David, and Amy