Brownfield Redevelopment and Voluntary Site Clean-Ups
The U.S.EPA officially defines a brownfield (with certain exclusions/additions) as:
The term "brownfield site" means real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by
the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.
The environmental problems associated with a brownfield site can be a major impediment to redevelopment; the process
by which these problems are identified and quantified are very similar to the due diligence process. Similarly, the process by which these problems are mitigated typically relies on the application of risk-based remediation goals and management tools. Please view or white paper on risk-based investigation and clean-up.
Often, brownfields and other contaminated properties are investigated and cleaned-up under the oversight of state regulators via entry into a voluntary clean-up program. These programs have been established by States to promote the clean-up and redevelopment of contaminated properties by providing oversight and approval by the State’s environmental regulators. While not required from a regulatory standpoint, successful completion clean-up (site closure) through these voluntary programs will result in receipt of a document from the regulatory agency which provides the applicant with
certain protections from liability, and also provides others (e.g., lenders) which proof that the site was cleaned-up
adequately and properly.
Links to selected State Voluntary Clean-Up Programs in the Midwest: