Excellence in State Engagement Supporting Reuse Award
Under our environmental laws, EPA and the states share responsibility for protecting public health and safeguarding the environment. These relationships are a key part of the nation’s environmental protection system and vital to fulfilling the mission of the Superfund program.
In 2014, EPA developed the Excellence in State Engagement Supporting Reuse award to recognize state partners whose work has led to lasting benefits that enhance community quality of life and ensure the long-term protectiveness of site remedies and stewardship of the environment.
Award Evaluation Criteria:
- Encourage and support staff to participate in reuse-related activities designed to inform cleanup decisions at sites and strategize about reuse opportunities, including but not limited to: reuse plans, reuse assessments, facilitated meetings
- Collaborate with EPA to ensure current and future uses of sites are protective, including the implementation of institutional controls
- Think strategically about funding approaches to help local governments, property owners, developers and other stakeholders to return blighted properties to beneficial use
- Provide strong support and oversight to local governments, property owners, developers and other stakeholders
- Develop a tool or approach to support the reuse of sites in their State
- Help a local government, property owner, developer or other stakeholder move a reuse plan into reality, which may include but not be limited to: identifying or coordinating partners, addressing State liability concerns in a way that allows a property to move forward, providing funding to implement reuse activities, or ensuring proper permits are issued as appropriate
- Share efforts to support site reuse with other States to encourage the reuse of blighted property
- Ensure all appropriate institutional controls are in place
2014 Award Recipients
- Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP): In addition to their long-term support and encouragement of appropriate reuse at Superfund sites, FDEP also facilitates a partnership with the State Water Management Districts. This partnership currently implements ground water institutional controls across south Florida, leveraging existing federal and state regulations to ensure the protection of human health and the environment.
- Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ): MDEQ has been a long-time supporter of appropriate reuse activities, and has taken the next step to make reuse a core part of how they do business. They recently revised the name of their Superfund sites program to “Remediation and Redevelopment” to “create a future where Michigan’s contaminated properties are reliability managed, revitalized, and the environment is protected.
- Utah Department of Environmental Quality (UDEQ): Over the years, UDEQ has taken significant steps to proactively engage with EPA, local governments and other stakeholders to support the reuse of Superfund sites. With UDEQ’s encouragement, staff are present at and play an active role in reuse-related activities at Superfund sites, working with site stakeholders to thoroughly consider reuse opportunities.
2015 Award Recipients
- Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE): Over the years, KDHE has demonstrated its willingness to support and encourage the appropriate reuse of Superfund sites. KDHE enforces the use of appropriate institutional controls that often facilitate productive reuse, as well as the tracking, oversight and monitoring of institutional controls to ensure they meet the standards protecting human health and the environment.
- State Highlights:
- Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA): MPCA has been a strong and collaborative partner of EPA’s since the early years of the Superfund program. MPCA’s collaboration with EPA and site stakeholders to address the protective reuse and revitalization of Superfund sites has resulted in several national examples for Superfund reuse, especially as it relates to generating economic opportunity. In addition, MPCA operates its own state-run Superfund program, which has assisted in revitalizing additional sites in Minnesota for successful reuse.
- Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ): MDEQ collaborates with EPA to support and encourage the appropriate reuse of Superfund sites across the state of Mississippi through a variety of approaches, including offering assistance in reuse planning processes and implementing environmental covenants through the Uniform Environmental Covenants Act. MDEQ’s efforts help ensure that remedial actions remain protective as sites are put back into productive use, playing a key role in revitalizing communities.