Region 4 Brownfield Information
- Brownfield Contacts
- All Appropriate Inquiry
Brownfield sites are real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. Cleaning up and reinvesting in these properties takes development pressures off of undeveloped, open land, and both improves and protects the environment.
- Brownfield Program Background
- Redevelopment of Brownfield Sites
- Legal Issues at Brownfield Sites
- Brownfield Tools & Resources
- Brownfield Partnerships
- Brownfield Program Activities and Initiatives
- Brownfield Grant Recipients in Region 4
- State Brownfield Sites
- Brownfield Program Contacts
Brownfield Program Background
EPA's Brownfields Program is designed to empower states, communities, and other stakeholders in economic redevelopment to work together to sustainably reuse brownfields. To achieve these goals, the Brownfields Program provides funds and technical assistance to states, local communities, tribes and other stakeholders in economic redevelopment to work together to prevent, assess clean up, and sustainably reuse brownfield sites. More Brownfields Information.
Redevelopment of Brownfield Sites
It is estimated that there are more than 450,000 brownfield sites in the United States. EPA's Brownfields Program provides financial and technical assistance for brownfields activities through an approach based on four main goals:
- Protecting the Environment
- Promoting Partnerships
- Strengthening the Marketplace
- Sustaining Reuse
- Brownfields Assessment Grants provide funding for brownfield inventories, planning, environmental assessments, and community outreach.
- Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund Grants provide funding to capitalize loans that are used to clean up brownfield sites.
- Brownfields Job Training Grants provide environmental training for residents of brownfield communities.
- Brownfields Cleanup Grants provide direct funding for cleanup activities at certain properties with planned greenspace, recreational, or other nonprofit uses.
Legal Issues at Brownfield Sites
EPA’s Brownfields Liability page offers useful information about liability associated with redeveloping Brownfields properties. The Brownfields Law clarifies CERCLA liability as related to Brownfields. Other related laws and regulations impact brownfields cleanup and reuse through financial incentives and regulatory requirements.
- The Brownfields Laws and Statutes page also offers links to information about Brownfields-related laws. The Brownfields Handbook: How to Manage Federal Environmental Liability Risks (204pp, 2.27M) summarizes the statutory and regulatory provisions of CERCLA and RCRA, and the policy and guidance documents most useful in managing environmental cleanup liability risks associated with brownfields and other sites.
- The All Appropriate Inquiries Rule - establishes specific regulatory requirements for conducting all appropriate inquiries into the previous ownership, uses, and environmental conditions of a property for the purposes of qualifying for certain landowner liability protections under CERCLA. All appropriate inquiries must be conducted in compliance with the final rule in order to obtain protection from potential liability under CERCLA as an innocent landowner, a contiguous property owner, or a bona fide prospective purchaser.
In addition, the 2002 Brownfields Law expanded EPA's assistance by providing new tools for the public and private sectors to promote sustainable brownfields cleanup and reuse. The Brownfields Law amended the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA or Superfund) by providing funds to assess and clean up brownfields; clarified CERCLA liability protections; and provided funds to enhance state and tribal response programs.
It is important to remember that while aspects of the Brownfields Law apply to most types of contaminated property, the legal issues at some sites will not be encompassed or solved by the 2002 amendments. The 2002 amendments have two main components:
- Bona Fide Prospective Purchaser (BFPP) provision
- Windfall Lien provision: the property is subject to windfall lien only if certain conditions exist
EPA has developed guidance and fact sheets to help prospective purchasers understand the BFPP provision. EPA's Common Elements Guidance (22pp, 366K) lays out and explains the 8 criteria that prospective purchasers must meet. A Common Elements Reference Sheet (6pp, 204K) highlights the main points of the guidance through short summaries and FAQs.
Brownfield Tools & Resources
EPA and Region 4 have developed many tools and resources that can help implement redevelopment activities at contaminated sites and properties. The links below provide Brownfield-specific tools, resources, and information from a number of sources.
- Informational Tools
- Frequently Used Tools
- Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act
- All Appropriate Inquiries Rule
- Comfort/Status Letters (18pp, 61K) (memo (2pp, 6K) / fact sheet (1p, 6K) )
- General Information
- Policy and Guidance - This link provides information about laws and regulations that impact brownfields cleanup and reuse. The national Land Revitalization Initiative also offers information on Brownfields policy and guidance.
- Program Information - More cleanup and reuse information is available on the Brownfields Tools and Technical Information web page.
- Technical Tools
- Frequently Used Tools - the Brownfields Program has divided frequently used technical tools into categories for convenience:
- assessment and cleanup
- technical assistance for Brownfields projects
- land use and institutional controls
- protecting human health
- SMARTe - a web-based decision support tool for revitalizing sites and properties
- General Information
EPA has continued to build partnerships with a wide range of stakeholders - including federal partners, state, tribal and local governments, and non-governmental organizations - to promote the cleanup and reuse of Brownfield sites.
Brownfield Program Activities and Initiatives
The Brownfields Program promotes the cleanup and redevelopment of brownfield sites through a series of activities and initiatives that explore sector-based solutions, enhance environmental quality, stimulate economic development, and revitalize communities. More information on national Brownfield initiatives.
Brownfield Grant Recipients in Region 4
Region 4 maintains a catalogue of brownfield sites through the Region where pollution is being or has been cleaned up. Sites are organized by state, and allow you to find site summaries, site profiles, contacts, and fact sheets.
- For Brownfield Assessment, Cleanup, and Revolving Loan Fund Pilots/Grantees, click here.
- For Brownfield Success Stories, click here.
State Brownfield sites
Brownfield Program Contacts
An appropriate Region 4 contact for reusing a brownfield site can be found on the Revitalization Contacts page.