Brownfields

Mar 30, 2018

Environmental Enlightenment #241

United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) defines Brownfields as a property, where expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.

The term originates from the appearance of abandoned structures that have become brown with the accumulation of dust, rust and dirt.

“It is estimated that there are more than 450,000 brownfields in the U.S. Cleaning up and reinvesting in these properties increases local tax bases, facilitates job growth, utilizes existing infrastructure, takes development pressures off of undeveloped, open land, and both improves and protects the environment.” 
(https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/overview-brownfields-program)

Brownfields can have debris, dilapidated buildings and toxic chemicals. Some are easy to see—broken windows and glass, rotted wood floors, rusty nails and pipes, and old barrels. Others are not visible and harder to detect—toxic chemicals that can be harmful if gotten into the body by way of ingestion, inhalation or skin contact.

When Brownfields are cleaned up, neighborhoods are better in many ways.

The Anatomy of a Brownfields Redevelopment provides an overview of the Brownfields cleanup and redevelopment process from a real estate development perspective. The document identifies key challenges in Brownfields redevelopment, critical participants in Brownfields transactions, and important stages throughout processes such as pre-development, assessment, cleanup and development, and long-term property management. Example scenarios from projects using private, public-private, and public funding sources are included.

(Ref. https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/overview-brownfields-program)

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