BIDDEFORD – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $3.6 million in so-called brownfield grants to communities in Maine, including a project to clean up the site of a former textile mill in Biddeford.

Biddeford was awarded a $200,000 grant to clean up the former Florida Power & Light site off Laconia Street as part of the expansion of the RiverWalk along the Saco River. The area previously was part of the River Dam Mill complex.

The cleanup grant will be used in conjunction with the creation of a new Saco River overlook park and expansion of the path between the Mill at Saco Falls and the river.

The EPA grants are designed to help communities clean up and redevelop contaminated properties, boost local economies and protect public health and the environment.

The EPA awarded $12 million in 54 grants to 32 organizations in New England. The funding is part of more than $62 million in EPA brownfields awards across the country.

Other grant recipients in Maine are:

• City of Belfast, $200,000 (community-wide assessment grant)

• Brewer Redevelopment LLC, $200,000 (two cleanup grants)

• Eastern Maine Development Corp., $400,000 (two community-wide assessment grants)

• City of Gardiner, $400,000 (two community-wide assessment grants)

• Greater Portland Council of Governments, $800,000 (community-wide Revolving Loan Fund grant)

• Lincoln County Regional Planning Commission, $400,000 (two community-wide assessment grants)

• Midcoast Economic Development District, $400,000 (two community-wide assessment grants)

• Passamaquoddy Tribe, $200,000 (community-wide assessment grant)

• Southern Maine Regional Planning Commission, $400,000 (two community-wide assessment grants)

Gillian Graham can be contacted at 791-6315 or at:

ggraham@mainetoday.com