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Brownfields

Targeted Brownfields Assessments in Region 3 - Eligibility

Background

EPA Region 3 has initiated a program aimed at helping municipalities to redevelop contaminated properties in their community. Under this program, EPA will conduct Brownfields site assessments at selected sites in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. The purpose of a Brownfields site assessment is to aid municipalities in determining the nature and extent of environmental contamination.

What is a Brownfields Site Assessment?

A Brownfields Site Assessment is a study conducted by EPA to determine the nature and extent of environmental contamination. The assessment will be conducted by environmental consultants currently under contract with EPA. This program does not provide funds to conduct remediation or building demolition activities. The site must be contaminated or suspected to be contaminated with hazardous substances. Sites that are contaminated only with petroleum products are not eligible for assistance.

Who is Eligible to Apply?

EPA assistance will be offered for sites where control and ownership issues are not an impediment, and there are strong commitments to clean up and redevelop the site. Therefore, the site should currently be publicly owned, or will eventually be publicly owned, either directly or by a municipality through a quasi-public entity such as a redevelopment authority or industrial development corporation. A nonprofit entity (e.g., a community development corporation) may also apply for assistance as long as the nonprofit or a municipality owns the site.

The public or nonprofit entity should apply on behalf of a specific site which it currently owns or can obtain ownership through some other means (e.g., tax foreclosure). If the site is not currently owned by the public or nonprofit entity, the site should be "abandoned." An abandoned site for the purposes of this program is a site where the current owner has shown no interest in the property, has not paid taxes on the property, and does not have the resources to conduct the required site assessment work. Public or nonprofit entities that may be considered a "responsible party" (responsible for the contamination at the site) are not eligible for assistance under this program. Although this program is not intended to assist private parties in assessing and cleaning up their sites for redevelopment, EPA would consider privately-owned sites on a case-by-case basis. Generally, the private entity should provide information on prior environmental work performed at the site.

EPA funding for this program is limited. Therefore, EPA's selection process will be aimed at projects where the public entity has concrete redevelopment plans, and can demonstrate through its application for assistance a strong commitment toward facilitating the redevelopment of the site after the Brownfields Site Assessment is completed. Redevelopment can involve the creation of commercial, industrial, recreational, or conservation uses.