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Technical Approaches to Characterizing and Cleaning up
Iron and Steel Mill Sites under the Brownfields Initiative
(68 pp, 743 KB) November 1998

CERI has developed three technical guidance documents to facilitate assessment and cleanup of brownfields sites and a companion resource document which describes cost estimating resources. Many communities across the country contain brownfields sites, which are abandoned, idle and underused industrial and commercial facilities where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination. The EPA's Brownfields Economic Redevelopment Initiative was established to empower states, communities and other stakeholders in economic redevelopment to prevent, assess, safely cleanup and sustainably reuse brownfields sites. Each guide in this series contains information on a different type of brownfields site, classified according to former industrial use; the types of sites selected for the guides are iron and steel mill sites, metal finishing facilities and automotive repairs shops. The guides are technical in nature but also address nontechnical sources of information to assist the decision maker in developing as complete an understanding of the site as possible. The guides present a general overview of site information that should be obtained prior to site characterization, suggest where to obtain pertinent site information and, provide guidelines on how to access and apply this information.

Each of three technical guides contain a description of typical industrial operations that could have occurred at sites used for these purposes, matrix listing of contaminants typically associated with the site type and the media in which the contaminants can be found. Tables within the guides identify available site characterization tools and technologies and sample collection practices. Quality assurance and quality control guidance and data quality objective guidance are referenced. Estimates of the cost of site characterization are provided. Factors to be considered in determining the necessary level of cleanup, including reference to state voluntary cleanup programs are discussed. Summaries of applicable cleanup technologies, typical costs associated with these technologies and their applicability to specific contaminants in various media are presented in tables. The document that summarizes cost estimation techniques includes information on databases, web sites, computer software and services that can assist a decision maker to develop an order of magnitude cost estimate, or evaluate one that is presented to the decision maker. This cost document is intended to be used as a companion to one of the industry specific guides in the series.

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