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Steps in the Land Revitalization Process to Plan for Reuse of Contaminated Sites

Many factors influence the reuse potential of contaminated sites. These factors and characteristics include but not limited to:

  • Site type
  • Site size and configuration
  • Prior use
  • Type and extent of contamination
  • Current status of the site
  • Local real estate market conditions

Follow the steps below to find revitalization tools and resources to help you gather information about your site and apply reuse considerations.

Step 1: Determine the Type of Contaminated Site Step 2: Determine Which Government Agency is in Charge of Cleaning Up the Site

Step 3: Determine the Current Status of the Site

Step 4: Search for Your Site

Step 5: Examine and Review Other Site Reuse Considerations

Step 6: Explore Revitalization Tools for Your Revitalization Project

Step 7: Contact the Government Agency in Charge of the Cleanup


Step 1: Determine the Type of Contaminated Site

Is your site a Brownfield, Superfund site, State site or Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) site?

Knowing the type of site will help you take advantage of revitalization tools and understand the opportunities and barriers to reuse. Some legal, financial, or technical revitalization resources may only apply to certain sites. For example, superfund sites on the National Priorities List are typically not eligible for brownfields grants.

Industry Profile Fact Sheets

These industry profile fact sheets are presented to assist State, local, and municipal agencies and private groups in the initial planning and evaluation of sites being considered for remediation, redevelopment or reuse. They are intended to provide a general description of site conditions and contaminants which may be encountered at specific industrial facilities.

These fact sheets are presented for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as a federal policy or directive.

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Step 2: Determine Which Government Agency is in Charge of Cleaning Up the Site

Who is in charge of cleaning up your site?

Knowing who is in charge of cleaning up the site will help you contact the appropriate federal or state governmental agency.

Federal, state and local governments have different legal authorities. National, state, and even local authorities all have laws and policies in place that can impact the redevelopment of contaminated and formerly contaminated sites. Your contact will be able to identify appropriate revitalization resources that are available for your site.

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Step 3: Determine the Current Status of the Site

What is the current status of your site?

Current site conditions influence redevelopment possibilities. Sites may have perceived contamination issues, but need to be assessed before any further action can be taken. Other sites may have partially been cleaned up to address immediate contamination hazards, but additional cleanup work will be needed before redevelopment. Many sites can be reused during the cleanup work as long as the owner or user of the site is aware of the limitations, such as refraining from sinking ground water wells.

If you are not already familiar with environmental conditions at your site, collecting the following information on the site will be a critical next step.

  1. Current status of environmental conditions at the site.
  2. Future anticipated cleanup actions at the site.
  3. Current or future restrictions on the use of the site.
  4. Compatibility between anticipated use of the site and the cleanup or restrictions on use.
  5. Liability protections that are available
  6. Liens associated with cleanup work (only applies to some types of contaminated property).

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Step 4: Search for Your Site

Where can you find more information about your site?

If you do not know the site type or site status, there are a number of online contaminated site inventories that you can search for additional information.

  • Cleanups in my Community is a mapping tool that shows sites throughout the United States where pollution is being or has been cleaned up. It provides cleanup progress profiles for sites, facilities, and properties that are being, or have been, cleaned up under EPA's superfund, RCRA and brownfields cleanup programs. Note: Cleanups in my Community does not include sites that are being cleaned up or funded by state or local agencies.
  • Cleanups Where You Live includes information about cleanup programs (brownfields, federal facilities, leaking underground tanks, RCRA and superfund) by state.

If your site does not show up in the Cleanups in my Community tool, an appropriate revitalization contact person may be able to help you. Contact your land revitalization regional EPA representative for more information.

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Step 5: Examine and Review Other Site Reuse Considerations

What reuse information should I consider?

The process of getting a formerly contaminated or potentially contaminated site back into use is influenced by many factors and issues that affect how to effectively revitalize a contaminated site or site. Consider cleanup and reuse information as you begin to explore opportunities at your site.

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Step 6: Explore Revitalization Resources for Your Revitalization Project

What resources are available?

There are numerous resources to assist in the revitalization of contaminated properties including:

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Step 7: Contact the Government Agency in Charge of the Cleanup

After you have identified and researched the type of site you are interested in revitalizing, contact the government agency or agencies in charge of the cleanup for more information about the status of the site, available liability protections, and to take advantage of the appropriate revitalization tools that are available for your site and site type.

Contact your land revitalization regional EPA representative for more information.

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