Opportunities For Small Businesses
An old, abandoned property contaminated by petroleum can be an excellent site for a new small business. Abandoned gas station sites often have traits that can make them excellent locations for a small business, including:
- Relatively small size that easily accommodates a small business;
- Prominent location, many times on a corner lot on busy thoroughfares;
- Already possesses necessary infrastructure, negating the need for expensive land clearing and for new access to water and power sources and other amenities; and
- Useable buildings are already in place.
In addition, many state and local areas have created incentives to foster the cleanup and reuse of these sites, including tax advantages or financial incentives.
For a basic introduction to the cleanup and reuse of petroleum brownfield sites and the resources available, see:
Toolbox For Cleanup And Redevelopment Of Contaminated Sites In Small Cities And Rural Communities (PDF) (29 pp, 3.9MB, About PDF)
Association of State and Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials (ASTSWMO). 2007.
Funding Opportunities: A Directory Of Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, And Environmental Protection Assistance Programs (PDF) (59 pp, 890K, About PDF)
Includes information on federal and state assistance programs and private foundations.
The petroleum brownfield process varies by state. For petroleum brownfields, the state regulatory authority or state brownfields program is often the first place to seek information and assistance. Most states maintain websites with this information.
The U.S. Small Business Administration provides a wealth of information and assistance for small businesses.
The EPA Brownfields Program awards assessment and cleanup grants for brownfield sites.
This page contains information on financing brownfields revitalization projects, including links to national and state-specific resources and to both private and public sources of information.
Identifying Petroleum Sites
This page discusses how to find petroleum brownfield sites, including links to inventories of sites.
This section provides examples of small businesses that have successfully cleaned up and reused petroleum brownfield sites. The fact sheets and case studies described show a wide array of reuse options for these sites.
Heating / Air Conditioning Service: ActionAir Systems: Success in EPA Conducted Targeted Brownfields Assessments
New Britain, CT
Organic Farm: Urban Oaks Organic Farm
Motorcycle Dealership: Harley Davidson / Buell Dealership of Stamford
Old Town, ME
Commercial, Retail Space: Lily-Tulip Factory
New Bedford, MA
Specialty Produce and Food: Sid Wainer & Son Co. Greenhouse
Restaurant: Old Northampton Fire Station
Supermarket: Former H.B. Smith Property
Bicycle Dealership: Former Whitney Screw Property
Light Manufacturing and Distribution: New Life Breathed into Former Industrial Property (PDF) (1 pg, 102K, About PDF)
EPA-560-F-08-317. November 2008.
Pharmacy: Closure of Oil Storage Plant in Abingdon, Virginia Leads to Opening of Walgreens
Retail Space: Prime D.C. Suburban Property Back on the Map