NVCOG Revolving Loan Funds Program
Since 2005, NVCOG has been awarded over $2.5 million to capitalize a revolving loan fund (RLF) from which NVCOG provides loans and sub-grants to RBP municipal and non-municipal members to clean up contaminated properties. One of the goals of the RLF Program is to help clean up environmental pollutants and facilitate redevelopment of underutilized or vacant properties.
Most recently, NVCOG was awarded $800,000 in RLF Funding from the EPA (read press release) in 2020 to continue to offer low-interest loans and a portion of subgrants for RBP members. RLF funding can be used for any eligible environmental cleanup costs on an approved site.
There are 2 types of funds offered through NVCOG’s RLF Program:
- Subgrants are available to eligible entities including municipalities, redevelopment authorities, and non-profit organizations to facilitate cleanup of contaminated properties. Private entities cannot apply for subgrants.
- Low-interest Loans are available to municipalities, developers, or non-profits for cleanup activities. When loans are repaid, the loan amount is returned including the interest accrued into the fund and re-lent to other borrowers, providing an ongoing source of capital within the region. Our Bridge Loan Rate is 0% for up to 24 months.
Grantee and Borrower Eligibility
All RBP Municipal members, redevelopment agencies, and non-profits are eligible to apply for subgrants. Applicants must be the sole owner of the property that is the subject of a grant proposal.
According to the EPA, all eligible RLF grants will be evaluated against the following selection criteria:
- The extent to which the subgrant will facilitate the creation of, preservation of, or addition to a park, greenway, undeveloped property, recreational property, or other property used for nonprofit purposes;
- The extent to which the subgrant will meet the needs of a community that has the inability to draw on other sources of funding for environmental remediation and subsequent redevelopment of the area in which a brownfield site is located because of the small population or low income of the community; and
- The extent to which the subgrant will facilitate the use or reuse of existing infrastructure.
Any private or public entity with control or access to the brownfield site is eligible to apply for a loan. The borrower does not need to own the site throughout the term of the loan unless ownership is required for the purpose of securing collateral or NVCOG determines that borrower site ownership is necessary.
Borrowers may include RBP Municipal members, non-profit organizations, economic development agencies, and private entities. In general, private landowners or potential landowners who are not responsible for the pollution on a site (and have acted responsibly to contain it) are eligible for loans.
Basic Eligibility Requirements for RLF Funds:
- The site must meet the definition of a Brownfield: “real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant” including sites contaminated by petroleum or petroleum products.
- Subgrant recipients must own the site and must own the site throughout the period of the subgrant. The term “owns” means fee simple title.
- Under federal law, parties responsible for the contamination are not eligible for cleanup funding. NVCOG cannot loan or subgrant funds that will be used to pay for cleanup activities at a site for which a borrower or subgrantee is potentially liable under CERCLA § 107.
- You are not eligible for assistance if you were the past owner or operator during the release of contamination, if you caused or contributed to the contamination, if you generated or transported the contamination, or if you purchased the site without performing an “All Appropriate Inquiry” including a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment.
- An entity that is currently suspended, debarred from receiving federal funding, or otherwise declared ineligible cannot be a borrower.
- A 20% match is required from all loans and subaward recipients. The match can be cash, non-federal grants, in-kind labor, equipment services, or materials for EPA-eligible environmental expenses.
- Information from the pre-application, state, and federal databases and records will be used to confirm eligibility. In some circumstances, staff may need to confer with EPA to make a final eligibility determination.
Grant and Loan Review Process
Step 1: RLF Grant and Loan Application Process
Eligible applicants who would like to apply for an RLF grant or loan must first complete a pre-application, which captures project summary information, past use history and helps NVCOG staff determine if the site meets EPA eligibility requirements and therefore is eligible to receive EPA clean up funding. Potential applicants are encouraged to contact Ricardo Rodriguez at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions prior to the completion of the pre-application.
The completion and approval of this application does not guarantee an award.
Step 2: Financial Eligibility for Loans
Following eligibility approval, the applicant is required to fill complete a more detailed grant or loan application that involves collecting financial information and due diligence checks and is reviewed by RBP Revolving Loan Fund Committee for final approval.
Applicants should allow at least 6-8 weeks’ lead time before the desired startup of any RLF-funded cleanup activities to allow for completion of the application and review process and to conduct EPA’s required planning and public outreach processes.
Community involvement is an essential component of NVCOG’s RLF Program. Through this process, the public has an opportunity to provide input on the proposed site cleanup and redevelopment plans, to comment on the required documents drafted in preparation for the environmental cleanup, and to have these comments considered in part of the final cleanup decision.
Community involvement activities must be initiated prior to the cleanup of a site and continue throughout each step of the environmental cleanup process. Final cleanup decisions must not be made prior to carrying out the required community involvement activities. RLF grant funds may be used to support community involvement activities as a programmatic cost.
All environmental cleanups require a site-specific plan for involving and informing the community in which the applicant must detail how they have previously involved and engaged community members community and how they intend to engage and receive input from community members during the clean–up process.
RLF Grant and Loan Application Process Step by Step
- Submit the RLF Pre-Application to Determine Eligibility
- If Approved, Complete a Formal Loan/Grant Application (Will be provided to the applicant after eligibility has been established)
- Review of Financial Condition & Business/ Development Plan
- Community Outreach Evaluation
- Environmental Risk Evaluation
- Redevelopment Plan Review
- Loan Review by RLF Loan Committee
- EPA Review of Loan
- Decision Made
- Establishment of Offer and Terms
- Loan/ Grant Closing