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Round 2-4a: Brownfields Pilot Projects

Reform Description
Brownfields are real property where reuse is complicated by the actual or potential contamination. Cleaning up and reinvesting in these properties takes development pressures off of undeveloped, open land, and both improves and protects the environment. EPA's Brownfields Program is designed to empower states, communities, and other stakeholders in economic redevelopment to work together in a timely manner to prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse brownfields.

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Reform Status
check mark Implementation of this reform is complete.

Passage of the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act (P.L. 107-118) enacted the reform into law. Information about EPA's implementation of the Brownfields Program is available at www.epa.gov/brownfields.

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As a result of this reform, EPA has:
  • Awarded 399 Brownfields Assessment Demonstration Pilots (up to $200,000 awarded per assessment pilot) of over $100 million dollars.

  • Awarded three Clean Air/Brownfields Partnership Pilots.

  • Selected 28 Brownfields Showcase Communities.

  • Established Regional Brownfields Coordinators in all 10 Regions.

  • Announced 46 Job Training and Development Demonstration Pilots (up to $200,000 awarded per pilot).

  • Provided support for 735 brownfields-targeted site assessments through awards of $27 million.

In addition:

  • EPA announced 125 Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund (BCRLF) Pilots, with over $90 million to eligible assessment pilot recipients for the capitalization of revolving loan funds for the cleanup of brownfields. Each pilot receives up to $1,000,000 in initial funding.

  • EPA has signed Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with a number of other Federal partners to coordinate issues related to brownfields redevelopment and to leverage additional opportunities (see Documents below).

  • EPA has co-sponsored an annual national Brownfields conference since 1996. This annual conference has grown into the largest and most comprehensive brownfields event in the United States. Brownfields 2004 will be held September 20-22, 2004 in St. Louis, Missouri.

  • EPA works with the Hazardous Materials Training and Research Institute (HMTRI) to expand environmental training and curriculum development at community colleges located near brownfields pilots. HMTRI holds annual workshops to assist community colleges in developing environmental jobs training programs.

  • A variety of guidance documents and other initiatives have been announced by the Agency affecting the liability aspects of the Brownfields Action Agenda (see Documents below).

  • A brownfields provision (subtitle E) was included in the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 (Public Law 105-34) which permits expensing of cleanup expenses incurred at eligible properties.

  • Through passage of the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act on January 11, 2002, EPA expanded its assistance to public and private sectors by providing new tools to promote sustainable brownfields cleanup and reuse. Under the new legislation EPA brownfields program can provide authorized funding for assessment and cleanup of brownfields properties.
  • Updated accomplishments and more information may be found on the Brownfields website at: www.epa.gov/brownfields/index.html.

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Stakeholder Comments
Roger Platt, of the National Realty Committee, stated that:

"EPA's reforms respond to many of the fundamental concerns of those considering the acquisition or financing of environmentally-impaired real property. As a result, these reforms are increasingly facilitating the recycling of our nation's brownfields, thereby advancing both economic and environmental policy objectives."

Lawrence Jacobson, Director of the Commercial Real Estate Finance for the Mortgage Bankers Association of America, stated that:

"EPA has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to reducing the anxiety of real estate investors interested in properties where contamination, or the threat of contamination, is present. Through a concerted series of EPA Superfund Administrative Reforms and associated Clinton Administration policy initiatives, a remarkable number of previously abandoned or underutilized properties are now being returned to productive use."

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Success Stories
(For more information on these and other success stories, see OSWER's Brownfields Success Stories page.)

Las Vegas, NV: Las Vegas Cleanup a Sure Thing [FY01]
Synopsis: This success story highlights the former National Guard Armory site, which is first site cleaned up under EPA's Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund (BCRLF) Pilot Program. The site's planned reuses include a community center, cultural center, retail stores, and a small business incubator.

Mineral Area College, MO: Getting the Lead Out - Creating New Opportunities in the Old Lead Belt [FY01]
Synopsis: This story highlights the environmental training provided to low income residents who are often involved in the Welfare-to-Work and Trade Readjustment Act (TRA) programs. The residents are being offered new career opportunities through EPA's first rural Job Training and Development Demonstration Pilot.

Shreveport, LA: Shreveport's Revolving Loan Fund and Building For the Future [FY01]
Synopsis: This story highlights the growth of the City of Shreveport, Louisiana's urban area since the collapse of the oil industry. Although the city is undergoing redevelopment, most of the recent development has neglected the inner city. With assistance of a BCRLF grant, to foster cleanup and redevelopment, a 20-acre brownfield will be developed into a new convention center.

Stamford, CT: Stamford Cleanup Loan Helps Harley Davison Race Towards Relocation and Expansion [FY01]
Synopsis: This success story highlights the result of the third loan made under EPA's Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund (BCRLF) Pilot Program that will pay for cleanup on the site of a former printing and engraving shop. Although the property requires cleanup only to commercial/industrial standards, the property owner intends to clean up the site to residential standards (which excludes site capping) in order to broaden future use options.

Young Community Developers, CA: Giving Disadvantaged Residents an Advantage [FY01]
Synopsis: This success story highlights the Job Training Pilot in the Bayview Hunters Point community of San Francisco, which is home to 25,000 residents and surrounded by approximately 120 brownfields sites. In addition to graduating the 24 participants of the first training cycle, the Pilot successfully secured partnerships with numerous groups including universities and colleges, unions, and private companies and leveraged more funds and resources.

New Jersey Youth Corps, NJ: New Jersey Youth Corps is Helping Residents to Help Themselves [FY00]
Synopsis: This success story highlights the Job Training Pilot success that resulted from the collaboration of the State of New Jersey Department of Human Services' New Jersey Youth Corps program, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), and community organizations in Camden and Newark. Two job training cycles in environmental technology were completed following the recruitment of residents from some of the most disadvantaged communities in the state.

Bridgeport, Connecticut

Bridgeport, Connecticut has been plagued with economic hardship due, in large part, to the departure of several industrial operations in the 1980's. Several of these former industrial properties which remain abandoned - often viewed as eyesores detracting from the property values - have been the focus of city officials in recent years.

The former Jenkins Valve Company site, located at the city's main gateway, has been fueling a growing urban renewal effort in Bridgeport. Through innovative fundraising and a $200, 000 EPA Brownfields Assessment Pilot Initiative grant, the city of Bridgeport identified the property as a priority Brownfields site and performed an evaluation of the property exploring site redevelopment. Based on this evaluation, the Zurich Re Corporation invested $11 million to clean up and redevelop the site. Both the state and the city contributed a total of $3 million for site redevelopment.

The result is the state-of-the-art Harbor Yard sports complex featuring a new
5, 500 seat minor league ballpark, the home of the Bridgeport Bluefish. There are also plans for a sports arena and a new museum. The complex is a testimony to the commitment of EPA, the State, the City, the business community, and the residents of Bridgeport to revitalize a once-foresaken area with new development.

Glen Cove, NY

In the city of Glen Cove, New York, 146 acres of under-used contaminated land lay idle along the city's waterfront district. This waterfront area in Glen Cove has been the hub of industrial activity since the mid-1800's. Many heavy industrial and manufacturing uses have ceased, vacating many properties. Because of liability concerns associated with the Superfund law, redevelopment of this prime real estate had not occurred. However, in 1993, with the launching of the Brownfields initiative, new innovative approaches provided new hope for the future of this property, and hundreds like it around the country.

With the aid of Federal money facilitating reuse, the City of Glen Cove is cleaning up and redeveloping this brownfields site. Important partnerships among Federal, State, and local agencies (in collaboration with environmental, business, and community groups) have directed redevelopment. It is estimated that, once redevelopment is complete, Glen Cove's waterfront brownfields will result in 1, 700 new full-time jobs at all skill levels, offering new employment opportunities to low- and moderate-income residents. New businesses on the redeveloped sites are expected to gross $200 million in annual sales, with annual tax yields of nearly $10 million.

Emeryville, California

Since EPA awarded a $200,000 grant in March 1996, EPA and Emeryville have been working together to rejuvenate the city and the surrounding area, targeting ten sites and more than 180 acres for cleanup and redevelopment. The brownfields pilot established strong working relationships among the city's regulatory agencies, which facilitated a plan between the city and a development corporation to redevelop an abandoned rail yard. Approximately 100 construction workers have already been hired to construct 200 units of residential housing.

Within the next five years, construction of retail, hotel, and office complexes is expected to support as many as 10,600 jobs and nearly 4 million square feet of new facilities, providing an additional $6.4 million in annual property tax revenues. [FY98 Success]

Trenton, New Jersey

EPA awarded Trenton a $200,000 grant in September 1995. Trenton's Gould National Battery site was home to commercial lead-acid battery manufacturers from the mid-1930s to the early 1980s. A research corporation developing innovative methods of site remediation approached the city about conducting a demonstration cleanup project on the Gould site.

Phytotech was interested in a new soil cleanup technique called phytoremediation, in which plants (or trees) are used to extract lead and other heavy metals from the ground. Indian Mustard plants were planted at the site in 1996, and initial tests prove that lead levels on the property have already been reduced.

Through efforts of the Brownfield Assessment Demonstration Pilot, the city, the community, and the Indian Mustard plant, the Gould site will one day return to productive use. [FY98 Success]

  • View the fact sheet for this brownfields pilot
  • Download the fact sheet in PDF format (2 pages, 13KB)

Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore has sought to use the city's $200,000 grant to encourage economic growth and redevelopment in urban areas while continuing to provide appropriate and sufficient protection of the environment, especially the Chesapeake Bay watershed area. [FY97 Success]

Birmingham, Alabama

The North Birmingham Industrial Redevelopment Project centers on a 900-acre industrial area in which nearly 40 percent of a formerly-active property now lies vacant. In September 1995, the EPA awarded Birmingham a $200,000 grant under its Brownfields initiative to stimulate the development of a 150-acre industrial park within the target area. Planners believe the area will see the creation of over 2,000 jobs. [FY97 Success]

Burlington, Vermont

Burlington plans to develop a comprehensive brownfields plan, redevelop the city's brownfields with a high degree of citizen participation and support, and provide a redevelopment model that could be duplicated in small cities across the country. [FY97 Success]

  • View the fact sheet for this brownfields pilot
  • Download the fact sheet in PDF format (2 pages, 11KB)

Dallas, Texas

The City of Dallas, with help from EPA, is returning brownfield properties into productive use for the community. With six sites in the cleanup and redevelopment process, $44.5 million in private investment has been leveraged, along with an $8.4 million public investment. [FY97 Success]

  • View the OSWER success story page
  • View the fact sheet for this brownfields pilot
  • Download the fact sheet in PDF format (2 pages, 16KB)

Oregon Mills, Oregon

The City of Astoria, Oregon has worked in partnerships with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), ECOTRUST, and the community to clean up the City's abandoned mill sites and transform them into thriving waterfront properties. In September 1995, Rural Development Initiatives, Inc., received a $200,000 EPA Brownfields Pilot grant to help jump-start the City's redevelopment efforts. [FY97 Success]

  • View the fact sheet for this brownfields pilot
  • Download the fact sheet in PDF format (2 pages, 14KB)

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For related documents, see OSWER's Index of Brownfields Publications.

Title: Fact Sheet: Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund Demonstration Pilots
Date: September 2001
Document #: EPA 500-F-01-324
Synopsis: This fact sheet highlights the benefits of partnerships and stakeholder involvement to prevent, assess, clean up, and reuse brownfields utilizing the Brownfields Economic Redevelopment Initiative

Title: Fact Sheet: Brownfields Tax Incentive
Date: August 2001
Document #: EPA 500-F-01-339
Synopsis: This fact sheet outlines a comprehensive approach for the assessment, cleanup, and sustainable reuse of brownfields through use of the Brownfields Tax Incentive that was amended in December 2000.

Title: Brownfields Tax Incentive Guidelines
Date: June 2001
Document #: EPA 500-F-01-338
Synopsis: These guidelines present a case study and step-by-step assistance for developers, to determine whether a property may be eligible to qualify for the benefits of the Brownfields Tax Incentive

Title: Environmental Cleanup Cost Deduction Extracted Section of IRS Publication 954 (PDF 1 page, 44K)
Date: Revised June 2001
Document #: Internal Revenue Service Publication 954 - Page 12
Synopsis: This document explains the qualifications required for a contaminated site to be eligible for the Environmental Cleanup Cost Deduction. The deduction provides an incentive to business for hazardous site cleanup.

Title: Memorandum: Financial Structure of Cooperative Agreement Funds Under the Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund (BCRLF) Program
Date: January 10, 2001
Synopsis: This memorandum explains how the Brownfields Economic Development Initiative Proposal Guidelines for Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund, October 2000 ("The Guidelines") apply to new BCRLF pilots to be awarded in FY 2001. Additionally, this document describes how the changes may, with approval from EPA Regional Offices, also apply to existing BCRLF pilots.

Title: Memorandum: Clarification of Borrower Eligibility Under the Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund Program
Date: September 5, 2000
Synopsis: This memorandum clarifies the scope of borrower eligibility at brownfields sites. As with other borrower eligibility determinations, this document makes clear that the determinations of the lead agency regarding whether an owner has caused, contributed to, permitted, or exacerbated a release of a hazardous substance is not a CERCLA liability determination and does not limit the enforcement authority of the federal or state government.

Title: Memorandum: Clarification of Site Manager (On-scene coordinator) Role, "Lending to Yourself," and Obligation Requirements Under the Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund Program
Date: July 7, 2000
Synopsis: This memorandum clarifies the requirements of the BCRLF program and identifies possible ways to streamline program implementation. In aprticular, three important program issues under the Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund (BCRLF) program are explained in greater detail: (1) role of the Site Manager (On-scene coordinator -OSC); (2) clarification of the "lending to yourself" policy; and (3) elimination of the eighteen-month obligation requirement currently required in the BCRLF Administrative Manual (EPA 500-B-98-001, May 1998).

Title: Brownfields Showcase Community Fact Sheet
Date: March 1998
Synopsis: This is a general fact sheet on a multi-agency initiative. The Federal agencies participating in the Brownfields National Partnership will offer special technical, financial, and other assistance to selected communities - Brownfields Showcase Communities - that will be models demonstrating the benefits of focused, coordinated attention on brownfields. The Brownfields Showcase Communities project will be the centerpiece of the Federal government's Brownfields Initiative and will provide a pattern for future cooperative efforts in addressing other environmental and economic issues.

Title: 1997 Brownfields National Partnership Action Agenda
Date: May 1997
Synopsis: On May 13, 1997, Vice President Al Gore announced the Brownfields National Partnership Action Agenda, outlining EPA's activities and future plans to help States and communities implement and realize the benefits of the Brownfields Initiative.

Title: Fact Sheet: Brownfields `96 National Conference
Date: April 1997
Document #: EPA 500-F-97-099
Synopsis: This fact sheet reviews the Brownfields Conference held on September 20-21, 1996. The document summarizes both the major speakers and the five topic areas covered: brownfields financing; redevelopment; community involvement; site assessment and cleanup technologies; and brownfields case studies.

Title: Fact Sheet: Brownfields Pilots National Workshop
Date: April 1997
Document #: EPA 500-F-97-096
Synopsis: This fact sheet summarizes the first Brownfields Pilots National Workshop, held on February 13 and 14, 1996, in Washington, D.C. The document highlights workshop activities, presentations, and recommendations.

Title: Fact Sheet: Community Reinvestment Act (CRA)
Date: April 1997
Document #: EPA 500-F-97-100
Synopsis: In 1977, Congress enacted the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) to require banks, thrifts, and other lenders to make capital available in low- and moderate-income urban neighborhoods, thereby boosting the nation's efforts to stabilize these declining areas. EPA has coordinated with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to create incentives within the CRA regulations for economic revitalization and development.

Title: Fact Sheet: Federal Interagency Working Group on Brownfields
Date: April 1997
Document #: EPA 500-F-97-102
Synopsis: The Interagency Working Group on Brownfields was established in July 1996 as a forum for Federal agencies to exchange information on brownfields-related activities and to develop a coordinated national agenda for addressing brownfields.

Title: Liability and Other Guidance
Date: April 1997
Document #: EPA 540-F-97-104
Synopsis: EPA has worked with States and municipalities to develop guidance that will provide some assurance that, under specified circumstances, prospective purchasers, lenders, and property owners do not need to be concerned with Superfund liability. This guidance clarifies the liability of certain parties' association with and activities at a site, and clearly states EPA's decision to use its enforcement discretion not to pursue such parties. EPA anticipates that these clear statements of the Agency's position will alleviate any concerns parties may have in becoming involved in the cleanup and redevelopment of previously used properties.

Title: Land Use in the CERCLA Remedy Selection Process
Date: May 1995
Document #: OSWER 9355.7-04
Synopsis: EPA issued a directive encouraging discussions among local land use planning authorities and communities to be conducted early in the site assessment process. This directive ensures that site remedies meet future land use objectives and protect human health and the environment.

Title: 1995 Brownfields Action Agenda
Date: January 25, 1995
Document #: EPA 500-K-95-001
Synopsis: On January 25, 1995, EPA's Administrator announced the Brownfields Action Agenda, outlining EPA's activities and future plans to help States and communities implement and realize the benefits of the Brownfields Initiative. The Agenda is grouped into four categories: Brownfields Pilots; Clarification of Liability Issues; Partnerships and Outreach; and Job Development and Training. This document outlines the specific activities planned under the these four areas and their associated benefits.

Title: Memoranda of Understanding

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