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  Technical Approaches to Characterizing and Cleaning Up Brownfield Sites: Railroad Yards (82 pp, 2.79 MB) (EPA/625/R-02/007) July 2002

Many communities across the country have brownfield sites, which EPA defines as abandoned, idle, and under-used industrial and commercial facilities where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination. Concerns about liability, cost, and potential health risks associated with brownfield sites may prompt businesses to migrate to greenfields outside the city. Communities are left with the burden of environmental contamination, declining property values, and increased unemployment.

EPA established the Brownfields Economic Redevelopment Initiative to enable states, site planners, and other community stakeholders to work together to prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse brownfield sites.

The cornerstone of EPA's Brownfields Initiative is the Brownfields Pilot Program. Under this program, EPA is funding more than 200 brownfields assessment pilot projects in states, cities, towns, counties, and tribal lands in the U.S. The pilots, each of which receives up to $200,000 over two years, are bringing together community groups, investors, lenders, developers, and other affected parties to address the issues associated with cleaning up contaminated brownfield sites and returning them to appropriate, productive use.

In addition to the hundreds of brownfield sites being addressed by these pilots, many states have established voluntary cleanup programs to encourage municipalities and private-sector organizations to assess, clean up, and redevelop brownfield sites.

This document includes sections on:

  • Railroad yard brownfields
  • Phase I site assessment and due diligence
  • Phase II site investigation
  • Contaminant management
  • Conclusions

There are four appendices.


Susan Schock

See Also

Brownfields and Land Revitalization

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