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Assessing And Cleaning Up Petroleum Brownfield Sites

Managing a petroleum brownfield site requires specific technical expertise. A petroleum-contaminated site must first be investigated (assessed) to determine the nature and extent of the contamination. An assessment will guide how a site is to be cleaned up. The following section provides sources of information on tools that may be useful in the assessment and cleanup of petroleum-contaminated brownfields.

As much as possible, it is important to consider the reuse of a petroleum brownfield site when planning to clean it up. In several states the potential reuse of a site can affect the needed cleanup. Petroleum-contaminated sites that are to be cleaned up and reused for residential housing, for example, may require more stringent remediation than for a parking lot where contamination may be encapsulated and paved over.

The Assessment And Cleanup Process
Technical Information On Petroleum Assessments And Cleanups
Addressing Liability Issues
EPA Assessment And Cleanup Grants
State Petroleum Assessment And Cleanup Information And Grants

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The Assessment And Cleanup Process

For a basic introduction to the steps involved in assessing and cleaning up contaminated sites, see the Toolbox for Cleanup and Redevelopment of Contaminated Sites in Small Cities and Rural Communities Exit EPA Disclaimer (29 pp, 3.9MB, About PDF) published by The Association of State and Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials. Exit EPA Disclaimer

The petroleum assessment and cleanup process varies by state. For petroleum brownfield site assessments and cleanups, the state regulatory authority is often the first place to seek information and assistance, and states maintain websites with this information.

In addition, some cities and counties have their own brownfields program and information - for example, Elkhart County, Indiana Exit EPA Disclaimer

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Technical Information On Petroleum Assessments And Cleanups

There are many sources of technical information on assessing and cleaning up petroleum brownfield sites. Each contaminated site must be cleaned up to satisfy state and federal requirements. (State requirements usually match and often surpass the federal requirements.) Each state regulatory authority has information on assessing and cleaning up sites available on its website. Technical information on assessing and cleaning up petroleum-contaminated sites is also available on EPA's website.

Cleaning Up Underground Storage Tank Sites
This site answers questions and lists many sources of technical information for assessing and cleaning up petroleum-contaminated sites.

EPA Brownfields: Tools and Technical Information
This site lists information on assessing and cleaning up brownfield sites.

Sustainability And Petroleum Brownfields
This site discusses incorporating green remediation and green building practices into the cleanup and reuse of petroleum sites.

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Addressing Liability Issues

For a discussion of liability issues at brownfields sites, see Brownfields and Land Revitalization Cleanup Enforcement.

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EPA Assessment And Cleanup Grants

Each year, EPA awards Brownfields grants to local governments, states, tribes, and non-profit organizations to assess and clean up brownfields, including those impacted by petroleum contamination.

Some petroleum-contaminated properties may not qualify for the EPA Brownfields grants because they are considered high-priority leaking underground storage tank sites. To determine if a leaking underground storage tank site is eligible for EPA Brownfield grants, it may be necessary to request a determination of eligibility from the state petroleum regulatory authority regarding low-risk priority petroleum-contaminated or suspected sites.

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State Petroleum Assessment And Cleanup Information And Grants

Many states also have programs and resources that provide technical and financial assistance for the assessment and remediation of petroleum sites. A good place to look for information is the state regulatory authority websites.

 

To learn about the reuses of cleaned up petroleum brownfield sites, see Reusing Cleaned Up Petroleum Sites.

To learn more about petroleum brownfields, see:
Financial Resources
Public/Private Partnerships
Sustainability And Petroleum Brownfields

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