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Redevelopment Economics at Superfund Sites

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Basic Information

Communities reuse Superfund sites in many ways – new parks, shopping centers, athletic fields, wildlife sanctuaries, manufacturing facilities, residences, and new roads and infrastructure centers, are just a few examples. EPA can work with communities throughout the cleanup process to make sure future users at these sites will be safe.The FedEx Ground facility operating on the Reynolds Metals Company Superfund site supports 1,100 workers; site properties generate over $1.2 million in property tax revenues.  [2015]

EPA looks at many types of beneficial effects of reuse at Superfund sites including:

  • Number of on-site jobs.
  • Annual employment income from on-site jobs.
  • On-site property value information.
  • Local property tax revenues.
  • Other beneficial effects that are unique to specific sites.

EPA captures these beneficial effects at Superfund sites in four ways:

EPA has created a brochure that highlights the Beneficial Effects of Site Reuse:

EPA has created a Superfund Redevelopment Economics Notebook that discusses various reuse economic tools:

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National Beneficial Effects

Innovative business owners and organizations reuse Superfund sites for a variety of purposes. Some uses can play a role in economically revitalizing a community. EPA has estimated the national economic beneficial effects of Superfund sites in reuse between 2011 and 2016. In 2016, 458 Superfund sites had available economic data, representing only a percentage of all sites in reuse.

National economic totals increased across all categories between 2015 and 2016, primarily due to increased data collection efforts. However, other independent economic factors, such as business conditions, impacted the 2016 national economic totals as well. 

Factors that contribute to changes in economic values from year to year include:

  • Increases in the number of sites in reuse.
  • Changes in the number of on-site businesses.
  • Additional efforts to collect more information on more sites, including more large and complex sites.
  • Changes in the availability of data through online sources.
  • Independent economic factors.
                              Estimates of National Economic Impacts since 2011
Year Sites in Reuse
with Economic
Data

Number of
Businesses

Annual Sales Jobs Annual
Employment
Income
2011     135 271 $8.8 billion 24,308 $1.6 billion
2012     276 972 $20.0 billion 46,475 $3.3 billion
2013     363 2,216 $32.6 billion 70,270 $4.9 billion
2014     450 3,474 $31.5 billion 89,646 $6.0 billion
2015     454 3,908 $29.0 billion 108,445 $7.8 billion
2016     458 4,720 $34.0 billion 131,635 $9.2 billion

Readily available internet and database sources are utilized to create estimates of national totals related to the beneficial effects of Superfund sites in reuse. Without more extensive research it is not always possible to identify all business names and addresses on site.

Jobs are not the only way communities benefit when Superfund sites are cleaned up. A 2009 report provides an overview of how cleaning up sites may benefit home prices:

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Regional Beneficial Effects

Following cleanup of the PJP Landfill Superfund site in Jersey City, New Jersey, Imperial Bag & Paper Co. moved its company headquarters on site. The business employs 470 people and generates over $1.8 billion in estimated annual business sales revenues. [2016]

SRI has developed regional economic profiles that tell a story about the role of Superfund in each EPA region and the beneficial effects of reusing formerly contaminated properties. These reports summarize economic data collected for Superfund sites within an EPA region. They also highlight successes and put them in the context of aggregated data within the state and EPA region.

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Local Beneficial Effects

A local beneficial effects case study gathers more complete information related to reuse, employment and other beneficial effects. While national impact estimates may underestimate jobs, a local beneficial effects case study can obtain detailed information about economic benefits for every company present on the site, in addition to unique economic benefits provided by particular uses, such as alternative energy.

Each local beneficial effects case study includes a technical appendix that provides an overview of the approaches, assumptions and methodologies used to obtain estimates on local beneficial effects.

Site Name State Region Year
Abex Corporation (PDF)(8 pp, 267 K) Virginia 3 2011
Aidex Corporation (PDF)(7 pp, 899 K) Iowa 7 2015
Airco Plating Company (PDF)(9 pp, 1 MB) Florida 4 2016
Benfield Industries (PDF) (7 pp, 365 K) North Carolina 4 2012
BMI-Textron and Trans Circuits, Inc. (PDF) (10 pp, 509 K) Florida 4 2014
Boise Cascade/Onan Corp./Medtronics, Inc. (PDF) Minnesota 5 2017
Calhoun Park Area (PDF)(17 pp, 1.8 MB) South Carolina 4 2014
California Gulch (PDF) (13 pp, 1.1 MB) Colorado 8 2014
Coalinga Asbestos Mine (PDF)(21 pp, 1.3 MB) California 9 2015
Davie Landfill (PDF) (57 pp, 1.2 MB) Florida 4 2014
Del Amo (PDF)(44pp, 1.5 MB) California 9 2013
Ecosystem Services at Superfund Sites (PDF)(27 pp, 2.2 MB) Multiple Multiple 2017
E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., Inc. (Newport Pigment Plant Landfill) (PDF)(9 pp, 708 K) Delaware 3 2014
FMC Corp. (Yakima Pit) (PDF) (7 pp, 772 K) Washington 10 2014
General Mills/Henkel Corp. (PDF) (11 pp, 877 K) Minnesota 5 2014
Goldisc Recordings, Inc. (PDF)(10 pp, 1.9 MB) New York 2 2015
Havertown PCP (PDF)(11 pp, 2.1 MB) Pennsylvania 3 2017
Highway 71/72 Refinery (PDF)(14 pp, 2.3 MB) Louisiana 6 2015
Industri-Plex (PDF) (21 pp, 1.6 MB) Massachusetts 1 2014
Iron Horse Park (PDF)(9 pp, 2 MB) Massachusetts 1 2017
Joslyn Manufacturing & Supply Co. (PDF)(12 pp, 670 K) Minnesota 5 2016
Kansas City Structural Steel (PDF)(9 pp, 2 MB) Kansas 7 2015
Kearsarge Metallurgical Corp. (PDF)(9 pp, 2 MB) New Hampshire 1 2016
Kennecott (South Zone) (PDF) Utah 8 2017
Koppers Coke (PDF) (10 pp, 612 K) Minnesota 5 2012
Lexington County Landfill (PDF) (8 pp, 784 K) South Carolina 4 2014
Liberty Industrial Finishing (PDF) (8 pp, 833 K) New York 2 2014
Macalloy Corporation (PDF) (9 pp, 389 K) South Carolina 4 2012
Midvale Slag (PDF)(38 pp, 3.1 MB) Utah 8 2015
Murray Smelter (PDF) (10 pp, 1.0 MB) Utah 8 2012
Naval Industrial Reserve Ordnance Plant (NIROP)/FMC Corp. (Fridley Plant (PDF)(12 pp, 1.1 MB) Minnesota 5 2016
North Penn Area 12 (PDF) (6 pp, 448 K) Pennsylvania 3 2014
Northwest Pipe & Casing/Hall Process Company (PDF)(10 pp, 1.1 MB) Oregon 10 2015
Pacific Sound Resources (PDF) (12 pp, 1.3 MB) Washington 10 2013
Peterson/Puritan, Inc. (PDF) (19 pp, 1.3 MB) Rhode Island 1 2014
Phoenix-Goodyear Airport Area (PDF)(18 pp, 968 K) Arizona 9 2015
PJP Landfill (PDF)(11 pp, 2.2 MB) New Jersey 2 2016
PMC Groundwater (PDF) (13 pp, 1.2 MB) Michigan 5 2014
Raymark Industries, Inc. (PDF)(9 pp, 1.3 MB) Connecticut 1 2016
Reynolds Metals Company (PDF)(11 pp, 1.8 MB) Oregon 10 2015
Roebling Steel Company (PDF)(14 pp, 1.3 MB) New Jersey 2 2016
RSR Corporation (PDF)(56 pp, 3.7 MB) Texas 6 2015
Sherwood Medical Co. (PDF)(8 pp, 1  MB) Nebraska 7 2015
SMS Instruments, Inc. (PDF) (6 pp, 1.1 MB) New York 2 2014
Sola Optical USA, Inc. (PDF)(7 pp, 727 K) California 9 2016
Solitron Microwave (PDF) (7 pp, 607 K) Florida 4 2012
South Andover (PDF) (11 pp, 398 K) Minnesota 5 2011
South Bay Asbestos Area (PDF)(15 pp, 766 K) California 9 2015
South Point Plant (PDF) (15 pp, 1.1 MB) Ohio 4 2014
Southside Sanitary Landfill (PDF) (6 pp, 255 K) Indiana 5 2011
State Marine of Port Arthur/Palmer Barge Line (PDF)(9 pp, 777 K) Texas 6 2017
Strother Field Industrial Park (PDF)(12 pp, 1.4 MB) Kansas 7 2015
Tucson International Airport Area (PDF)(27 pp, 1.6 MB) Arizona 9 2016
Universal Oil Products (Chemical Division) (PDF) (11 pp, 1.2 MB) New Jersey 2 2013
Vasquez Boulevard & I-70 (PDF)(147 pp, 4.3 MB) Colorado 8 2017
Vertac, Inc. (PDF) (9 pp, 610 K) Arkansas 6 2012
Waste Disposal, Inc. (PDF) (13 pp, 752 K) California 9 2014
Wells G&H (PDF) (9 pp, 285 K) Massachusetts 1 2011
Welsbach and General Gas Mantle (PDF)(10 pp, 1.8 MB) New Jersey 2 2015

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Information about Site-Specific Economic Highlights

The reuse of Superfund sites provides a wide range of benefits to local communities across the country. Some of these benefits are easy to quantify, while others are not. For example, commercial or industrial reuse of a site can bolster local economies by supporting jobs and generating sales revenues. However, not all sites in reuse involve an on-site business or other land use that would employ people. Therefore, economic information is not available for all sites in reuse. This could be attributed to several factors, including:

  • There may be no revenue-generating businesses operating on site.
  • There may be a business or businesses operating on site for which economic information is not available.
  • In some cases, due to the large footprint of a site, it is not feasible to collect economic information for such a large area (i.e., an entire town). In these cases, a site snapshot may discuss widespread site reuse, but economic information may not be available for the site.
  • Due to a time lag between when site snapshots are updated and when economic information is added to SURE, it is possible that economic research may not be performed to capture new reuse mentioned in a snapshot until after the snapshot has been updated.  

Many sites without businesses have beneficial effects that are not easily quantified, such as properties providing ecological or recreational benefits (e.g., parks, wetlands, ecological habitat, open space). Also, not all sites in reuse are well-suited for revenue-generating reuse. If a site is not located in an area appropriate for commercial or industrial reuse, it may not be a realistic option to have it redeveloped into something that will support jobs. EPA’s Superfund Redevelopment Initiative quantifies many types of beneficial effects of reuse at Superfund sites including the number of on-site jobs, estimated annual employment income and sales revenue generated by on-site businesses.

EPA obtains economic data for sites in reuse from reputable sources. Information on the number of employees and sales volume for on-site businesses typically comes from the Hoovers/Dun & Bradstreet (D&BExit) database. When Hoovers/D&B database research is not able to identify employment and sales information for on-site businesses, EPA uses the MantaExit and ReferenceUSAExit databases. These databases include data reported by businesses. Accordingly, some reported values might be underestimates or overestimates. In some instances, business and employment information come from local newspaper stories/articles and discussions with local officials and business representatives. In general, economic information gathered for sites in reuse is conservative, based on available resources. In some cases, especially for exceptionally large sites, the economic information presented may not be comprehensive of the entire site, presenting a conservative estimate of the economic benefits of reuse at the given site.

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