BUILD Act Puts Preferences for Brightfield and Bluefield Sites into Brownfield Grant Scoring
Congress defines two categories of brownfield grant applications for “waterfront/floodplain” and “clean energy” projects to receive additional points in the scoring process, orders the EPA Administrator to return with a report outlining precise implementation suggestions.
When President Trump signed the 2018 omnibus bill into law on March 23, 2018 it incorporated (as “Division N” beginning on page 1,768 (PDF)) a compromised version of a bill floating around Capitol Hill since 2013 known as the “BUILD Act.” The 2018 version, now the law of the land, is properly known as the Brownfields Utilization, Investment, and Local Development Act of 2018, or simply the BUILD Act of 2018.
The BUILD Act authorizes Congress to take up the total annual amount of federal brownfield spending to $200 million dollars (from the current $80 million level), not including another $50 million in state response funding that flows through to state and tribal entities (currently funded just below $50 million per year). As big of a bipartisan investment as this may prove to be, Congress may not ultimately allocate the physical capital needed to meet the potential levels of investment agreed to in the BUILD Act of 2018. But, as BL noted previously in its spot analysis of the bill after its passage, the BUILD Act also makes a number of substantive changes to brownfield redevelopment law both large and small.
It’s the first real brownfield reauthorization undertaken since the program’s inception. And several of the upgrades contained in the BUILD Act could ultimately prove to be game-changers.
As BL wrote previously, expanded liability protections and wider brownfield grant eligibility will both work to open the redevelopment game to a potentially much wider number of players. For cities, states, §501(c)(3) nonprofits, proactive land banks & §45D(c)(1) community development corporations, the BUILD Act promises to open up new possibilities for pro-action. It should lower the hurdle of fear currently blocking the development of many contaminated sites. Many would-be brownfield heroes, especially in the public sector, can now acquire and develop contaminated property they have avoided in the past for fear of being bogged down in litigation for an environmental mess they did not make.
Priority site scoring for Brightfields, Windfields and other 'clean power generation'; as well as Bluefields on waterfronts, in floodplains.
Beyond Congress’ preference for local proaction, the 2018 BUILD Act also prescribes scoring preferences for certain types of projects within the U.S. EPA’s popular and high-return brownfield redevelopment program. The bill defines two categories of sites/projects that will receive additional points in the grant application scoring calculation going forward: (1) “waterfront” sites, and applications for projects including (2) “clean energy” generation or “energy efficiency improvement.”
The relevant text of the BUILD Act is provided below:
“(a) WATERFRONT BROWNFIELDS GRANTS; CLEAN ENERGY ON BROWNFIELD SITES—Paragraph (6)(C) of section 104(k) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (42 U.S.C. 9604(k)) (as redesignated by section 9 of this Act) is amended by adding at the end the following:
(xi) The extent to which a grant would address a site adjacent to a body of water or a federally designated flood plain.
(xii) The extent to which a grant would facilitate—
(I) the location at a brownfield site of a facility that generates renewable electricity from wind, solar, or geothermal energy; or
(II) any energy efficiency improvement project at a brownfield site, including a project for a combined heat and power system or a district energy system.
(b) REPORT ON RANKING CRITERIA—Not later than September 30, 2022, the Administrator shall submit to Congress a report regarding the Administrator’s use of the ranking criteria described in subparagraph (C) in awarding grants under this subsection.’’
So, through the BUILD Act, the omnibus requires changes to the scoring in the brownfield grant application review process by awarding special recognition for “waterfront” brownfield sites and “clean energy” projects. That means that (what you can tag on BL as) bluefields (defined in the BUILD Act as “a site adjacent to a body of water or a federally designated flood plain”), brightfields (sites “that generate renewable electricity from… solar… energy”) and windfields (sites “that generate renewable electricity from wind… energy”) will soon receive specific scoring advantages over other brownfield sites.
Does this take away from the purity of the brownfield grant competition?
When previously proposed in the original 2013 BUILD Act, there were concerns that these preferences for waterfront sites and clean energy projects (also present in that bill) would diminish the pure competition of the brownfield program, which is a long source of pride in the agency. And, as BL noted at the time the BUILD Act was reintroduced in 2015, the same concerns emerged again that an otherwise “less worthy waterfront project might be funded over a non-waterfront brownfield project in the future simply because of the categorization instead of on merit.”
In 2015, BL also noted that putting the proverbial thumb on the scale for waterfront/floodplain sites and clean energy projects was of “particular concern when funding levels are so low that brownfield grant applicants with perfect scores still cannot manage to win badly needed funds in the competition.” The BUILD Act promises to turn up brownfield program funding, so in BL’s spot analysis of its passage we wrote this is “less of a concern with $250 million in brownfield funding in the 2018 BUILD Act, but competition for these grants will still be intense.” Bluefield, brightfield, windfield or not, most applicants to the U.S. EPA brownfield program will still be rejected, though the chances of winning may increase from the current win rate of ~1 in 5 for such newly preferred sites—or sites/projects with sufficient waterfront/floodplain and clean energy elements.
On BL, you can add bluefield and brightfield elements as Secondary Conditions in the Taxonomy.
And yet, the question remains: will applications concerning landlocked sites suffer? Yes, we think they because competition has been stiff enough in recent years to reject applications with perfect scores. Any edge will make a difference.
So, the BUILD Act makes a policy choice that the sum total of investment need and opportunity for these bluefields, brightfields, windfields and other clean energy applicants are worth this preferential treatment. Purists may not like it because it presumably takes away from the EPA Brownfields Program’s storied history of meaty, merit-based competition. They may be right when it comes to the score sheet. When we created the brownfield program, however, we made a similar choice to “prefer” brownfields as a subgroup because they needed special assistance. Carving them out of the harsh Superfund law made sense—so the pro-brownfield argument went at the time—because while both segments of sites need public support to revitalize, the potential of brownfields was bottled up in the Superfund program.
Now adding extra preferences to additional subspecies within the redevelopment ecosystem, seems in step with the spirit and original intent of the brownfield program. If waterfront/floodplain and clean energy sites deserve special treatment based on individual merit—much as brownfields did, or the California Condor and the Red Wolf—then the practical argument to provide additional aid to these sites may outweigh stretching to preserve some ideal notion of purity projected onto a consistently oversubscribed brownfield grant competition.
So, is there an objective case that waterfront/floodplain and clean energy applications deserve special focus at this particular moment in the evolution of the broader market?
Water can make the hardest brownfields.
Land adjacent to a body of water, lying in floodplains (as defined in the BUILD Act) or tagged on BL as a bluefield are their own unique animal in the real estate ecosystem. Water may be the necessary ingredient for life on Earth, but it also complicates nearly everything to do with real estate development and environmental remediation.
Bluefields often have advantageous or strategic location as points of crossing, corridors for transit, access to water amenities and/or vista. Bluefield real estate is often rare and highly sought, particularly in more dense urban areas or destination market—and highly priced as a result.
But bluefields are typically burdened by a higher degree of development difficulty. Beyond water turning dirt into mud, water complicates a lot of physics behind environmental remediation and sustainable building construction. And there are often heightened ecological concerns, preservation requirements for shorelines or wetlands as well as the high propensity for proximity to one or more sensitive receptors.
Bluefield success was a difference maker throughout history, and may be still
Humans selected sites with water resources for thousands of years for many of the same reasons they remain in high use today. So, bluefields are often the oldest brownfields. They have long development histories and that can muddy the waters—slowing down development and/or spiking project costs. It's not uncommon to discover artifacts, settlements or even a ship, such as this one recently discovered in Boston.
For too many reasons to list here, bluefield sites became less relevant than any time in history during the “old normal” as highways were built out for cars/trucks. Thanks to unprecedented preferential treatment and funding in the post-WWII period when the Interstate Highway System was built—not to mention nearly every state then following suit—soon automobiles came into nearly complete dominance of America’s transit system.
Going forward, in the new normal we’re in now, demand for these highly flexible sites is returning to the historic mean. Water is still the cheapest form of transportation today—more than an order of magnitude cheaper than rail (presuming you already have tracks laid and terminals built).
But as the global economic production elevates to new heights, led by the U.S., and logistics again leads the forefront of innovation thanks to the race triggered by Amazon’s quest for integrated online and physical retailing at scale, public investment in infrastructure is at generational lows. Quite unfortunately—at least for every American stuck in traffic today and for the future generation who will eventually pay to catch up—the opportunity to invest into this moment of economic and real estate evolution seems to be passing us by.
The private market knows the value of a quality bluefield, so sites with commercial water transit capability and/or high location utility are swinging back into high demand. The industrial resurgence that began in the U.S. in the post-2008 pivot is driving record levels of industrial development. This, in turn, is driving prices to record levels. Prices for large industrial parcels actually doubled last year, according to CBRE.
Many of these locations were selected for development when the early industrial economies were built a century ago. They worked well then and offer much of the same utility today. Plus, many of these old bluefield sites also have rail, which gives them built-in advantages as multimodal locations (or potential as such). Industrial developers are busy.
Bluefield sites are also assets with unique strengths and opportunities as amenities, open space and natural habitat. Because they are difficult to develop, many bluefields are often left in place—even if substantially disturbed and/or diminished. As meandering pathways, however, bluefields can often be pieced together into excellent pedestrian and wildlife connectors linked into wider park networks. And as habitat for nature to take root or nest, bluefields can perform one or more ecosystem services that are essential to sustaining life on the planet.
And so residential and commercial developers are also thinking differently about bluefield opportunities. Across the spectrum, Bluefields are being caught up in a major macro theme for "quality" consumption, which we see in the real estate business in the form of a race-to-the-top "amenity war." What began as high-end features exclusively available to the luxury segment is starting to trickle downstream, dragging the average form and function of our built-environment higher after several decades of relative underperformance, if not actual decline.
For these reasons and many others, bluefield sites are also in sharp focus for public sector planners, who are very busy in these days of fast-paced real estate reinvention. At present, many planners and economic developers are fully engaged in a transformative reassessment of their prior working plans and operating assumptions. A new generation of thoughtwork is required to reimage old locational analysis, site selection paradigms and placemaking possibilities.
Forget Kevin Costner’s ‘Waterworld’ future. Our communities are already flooding.
Bluefields—including the ‘waterfront/floodplain’ bluefields defined in the BUILD Act—also have unique utility in green infrastructure developments that manage flowing water by incorporating into or augmenting natural features (such as a wetland). So, beyond providing transport utility and amenities in the form of green space, open space and even recreational space for the community, bluefields also possess utility helping manage stormwater and floodwater.
There is already a great deal of effort currently being expended to get ahead of potential bluefield failures, such as those experienced in New Jersey in the Wake of Hurricane Sandy, or Houston after Hurricane Harvey (that city’s 3rd annual 500-year flood event in a row) or even the 2008 Iowa floods that lasted a month and cost nearly as much as Hurricane Katrina. After Sandy, the Lincoln Policy Institute published a useful after action report: Lessons from Sandy | Policies to Build Climate-Resilient Coastal Regions. A free handbook also recently published by the Columbia Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School, Managed Coastal Retreat: A Handbook of Tools, Case Studies, and Lessons Learned, is a terrific resource to better understand shifting development patterns in vulnerable areas.
Delta Institute also recently published an equally insightful, and equally applicable to inland areas, resource in its updated Green Infrastructure Toolkit to help both rural and urban communities dealing with flooding bootstrap solutions using simple techniques and the land resources immediately available to them. U.S. EPA took a similar approach to utilizing marginal lands in the battle for resilience against climate change in a useful agency manual, the Climate Smart Brownfield Manual—a how-to guidebook showing ways brownfields and other underutilized lands can be redeployed as working bluefield assets incorporated into adaptation and mitigation strategies to counter climate change.
So, bluefields aren't just sites than are nice to look at or float on. They are essential in the natural flow and filtration of our drinking water. They are the first line of defense against certain extreme weather events and climate change. The battle for communities will be won and lost on the resilience of local bluefield infrastructure. And in that fight, many communities are going to need every last inch and will need to utilize every square foot of land to win the fight for their future—brownfields, bluefields, et al.
Bluefield development to better the built-environment, prevent disaster.
Bluefields will be developed for positive reasons, with more and more streams being daylighted, wetlands restored and riverways made walkable and pedestrian-oriented—caught up in the exciting American real estate renewal that continues apace. But bluefields will also be developed for negative reasons, often required as a necessity to cleanup, remediate and rebuild after the next natural disaster breaks humanity’s rather fragile built-environment yet again. Bluefield challenges also seem to be emerging with more regularity. And though entirely predictable, bluefield breakdowns continue to catch us by surprise, resulting in costly consequences. Too often with the tragic loss of human life.
And animal life. Farms and ranches often suffer total losses in flood events. Pet shelters are quickly overwhelmed. Despite desperate efforts to reunite animals with their owners, pets can end up hundreds of miles away making reunification practically impossible.
So, while bluefield development is partly about upgrading the value and quality of our built-environment and saving billions unecessary disaster cleanup costs, it’s also about sustainability and saving lives. That’s one of the reasons why Congress has scaled up the relatively young WIFIA program, which provided $5.1 billion in long-term, low-cost supplemental loans for 12 regionally and nationally significant water infrastructure projects as well as another $5.5 billion WIFIA round announced just this week.
Is beefed up, next generational bluefield development the key to thriving, survival or dying in the next century’s hot, flat and ever more crowded planet of 8, 9 and then 10 billion people? Disasters like Hurricane Harvey and two 500-year floods in Houston in each of the preceding two years makes one wonder. Will Houston be hit with a fourth 500-year flood in a row in 2018?
One thing is certain: experts agree that many densely populated places around the planet today may be indefensible if sea levels rise too high, no matter how many resources are deployed in a bluefield infrastructure surge.
Accentuating the positive by investing aggressively in abundant U.S. bluefield assets.
Man-made climate change or no, another thing seems to be clear: water is coming. And in this game of flows, you either win or get wiped out. It’s also hard to opt out of the game because water is everywhere. Plus, as we’ve seen above, humanity oriented much of its civilization around water resources. Today more than 40% of the world’s population lives in coastal areas. In some countries that number is much higher, e.g. China where a large majority of people live in coastal areas and floodplains.
On the other hand, the U.S. enjoys a number of advantages in this game of flows. First, one of America’s many geographic advantages is the intercoastal waterway, which is made up of thousands of miles of barrier islands, wetlands and other coastal barriers that protect much of the U.S. coastline along the Gulf Coast, southeast and mid atlantic. Nothing else exists on the planet at the same scale. So, in terms of natural defenses and fortifications, the U.S. has way more to work with in figuring out how best keep out and/or work with water threatening its populated low-lying areas.
Second, the U.S. enjoys another major advantage in the future of bluefield development. America has an absolute abundance of bluefields in non low-lying coastal areas. There are more than 25,000 miles of navigable inland waterway in the U.S., which is more than the rest of the world combined. While several thousand miles of this immense U.S. waterway network is comprised of the intercoastal waterway, which is along the coast, much of America’s waterway network is comprised of upland and inland bluefields. These elevated bluefields are along and adjacent to America’s rivers, streams, lakes, ponds and wetlands.
Importantly, these upland and inland bluefields present many of the same technical challenges in real estate redevelopment and remediation aspects as any water-rich site, but they do not suffer many of the critical concerns challenging many coastal bluefields. As development opportunities then, these bluefields present the same strengths and utility as real estate assets without as many of the potential weakness and threats from climate change, coastal erosion and storm surge.
And yet, despite enjoying a relative super-abundance of these upland and inland bluefields assets with rare and valuable qualities, the U.S. spends hardly a fraction of what infrastructure capital it does invest into the nation's water infrastructure. Relative to highways and roads, public investment in dams, dikes and levees is only a tiny fraction. Federal spending through the Highway Trust Fund, the Department of Transportation and other infrastructure development activities totals hundreds of billions of dollars each year. Unfortunately, despite being the most-resourced nation on Earth, the U.S. is spending many orders of magnitude less on its bluefield infrastructure—in recent years spending around $3 billion per year on all its locks and dams.
Do bluefields merit extra points above & beyond regular brownfields?
This potential bluefield preference has been floating around brownfielding policy circles for many years. As we’ve seen above, there are good arguments for sharpening the policy focus on areas with the high needs and specific opportunities bluefields can present. This is especially worthwhile when such public investments not only solve community problems, but also return on the public’s investment. The brownfield program is an excellent investment by this score, eliminating blighted and contaminated community negatives while redeveloping positives and leveraging nearly ~$18 of private capital for every public dollar invested into the U.S. EPA brownfield program.
So, it’s must be worthwhile when such public returns are as multifaceted, high value and rare as is the case with many bluefield developments. Engaged as multi-functional working assets, these dynamically assets developments are highly productive for the natural and built-environments. A bluefield development often results in natural, economic and even social/civic gains. They increase property values in the surrounding area, create green space and open space, produce new recreational areas and deliver a range of widely distributed and available community amenities—all while also paying back substantial resilience gains. Most communities are happy to take these gains on day 1 following project completion, but they will enjoy the benefits of hardened community defenses against flood, tidal surge and stormwater for decades.
And in many cases, on the majority of days when the community’s bluefield infrastructure is not engorged from taking on excess stormwater flow, as designed, the community’s residents, visitors and tourists can enjoy the walking trails and greenspace these areas offer when dry.
Better still, as defined by the 2018 BUILD Act, “waterfront” sites include those adjacent to water and land located in floodplains. And, in the U.S. at least, that covers a lot of ground. Many communities have bluefield potential on some scale, even if down to a single stream. And so the bluefield preference will be available to a wide swath of the country, whereby brownfield grant applicants will be eligible as “waterfront” sites and be able to check that box as easily as they can use the bluefield tag here on BrownfieldListings.com.
Had this bluefield preference been available in previous grant cycles, there’s no doubt that a large percentage of applicants could have satisfied the ‘waterfront/floodplain’ criteria. It would be interesting to conduct a regression analysis to discover what portion of previous brownfield grant winners were, in fact, bluefield sites. And further interesting to examine non-winners and re-score bluefield applicants under the new criteria—when the EPA Administrator ultimately recommends the new criteria required by the BUILD act. Sadly, no such robust regression analysis is likely to be conducted any time soon, or ever.
In any event, true to the spirit of the brownfield program itself, Congress seems to be meeting the needs of the real estate market as it is today by making this move toward facilitating bluefield development in the BUILD Act. And beyond these very real needs of this moment, the BUILD Act’s bluefield preference seems to set up policy support where it will continue to be needed in the decades to come.
Wait, I thought renewable energy was the future?
As much as bluefield development can save the world from the new planetary threats washing up in Houston and looming even larger on the horizon, renewable energy development may be an equally important part of the solution. And, pending the specifics in the forthcoming EPA scoring criteria (required in the BUILD Act), brightfields and other “clean energy” projects will also receive bonus points in the scoring of brownfield grant applications going forward.
Unlike the bluefield preference, there’s no specific site condition necessary to satisfy the clean energy requirement in the BUILD Act. Theoretically, any site anywhere can incorporate clean energy technologies either via production of clean energy electrons or more efficient use of power electrons generated elsewhere.
The criteria for clean energy applications is so wide as to be universally applicable. It seems within reach for anyone. Every project has the potential to check the clean energy box, but everything will depend on the specific application criteria to be developed by the agency.
Does "Clean Energy" deserve a special preference too?
As an incentive, the BUILD Act’s bonus points for brightfields and other clean energy applications are pretty small potatoes. In terms of size, no matter what EPA determines the bonus points to be, they will not compare to the impact recent tariffs slapped onto foreign solar products. That official government act—a kind of negative-incentive—is also intended to benefit the domestic solar space, though the short term effect is to raise prices.
And while there may be incentives to throw a solar energy project, for example, over the economic hump of viability, the brownfield grants relevant here will apply toward the characterization, assessment, planning, feasibility analysis, design or remediation activities necessary to construct clean energy production or gain energy efficiency on a brownfield. As such, that potential solar project may be bottled up or stuck in limbo along with the property itself.
Just like any brownfield, a brightfield site must often be broken out of the brownfield trap too. Otherwise, any other financial incentives for a solar project never become relevant... because no project starts up. To oversimplify—and leave the question of whether incentives should exist at all to the politicians—these brownfield program activities are essentially pre-development or site prep that start the process of testing a site, characterizing (and controlling if necessary) the conditions underground, so a vertical development can rise up. As such, this new clean energy preference in the brownfield grant program does not double up on the typical clean energy incentives—but it does potentially add important early-stage seed funding for clean energy projects on brownfield land that might not get initiated otherwise.
In other words, you might need the brownfield program to create a spark before a solar project becomes viable—with or without any other incentives. Just like any subspecies of site in the broader brownfield ecosystem, a brightfield’s potential may be completely hidden from potential market participants by a cloud of uncertainty and risk.
Unlike the bluefield preference, however, the BUILD Act’s clean energy preference does favor specific end uses, such as solar or wind. And this makes it unusual in the brownfield program, which generally works under assumptions of highest and best use in the background but is agnostic as to specific end uses.
Some argue that renewable power production is not the highest and best use. Compared to returns of other land uses, solar’s productivity is relatively marginal. And energy development diminishes nature, and therefore the conservation potential of any site where it’s developed. To these kinds of critics, a solar development, for example, is an unsightly and unsatisfactory interim land use that will only need to be redeveloped again as the 20 or 30 year life cycle of the brightfield’s photovoltaic panels end. With minimal threat to human health, renewable power production can allow for less cleanup than might take place in other developments, due to our risk-based correction action regime. Thus, such a development only kicks the can down the road and avoids more substantial remediation that will ultimately need to take place at some time in the future in order to develop the property to its highest and best use.
But the reality is that plenty of brownfields will be waiting forever if the only acceptable development is high end mixed-use condos. For all practical purposes, solar and wind are the highest and best uses of many brownfield, Superfund and other marginal lands in today’s market. They cannot and will not be productive any other way any time soon, although each site’s destiny must be determined individually.
And the lifespan of a solar development, for example, offers its own utility in long term planning and land resource management. Should market conditions change in 30 years, then brightfield developments are much more cheaply and easily broken down than most other land use. These sites will thus be quickly ready to be reused with relatively low cost.
For many landowners, now that the economics have become positive, the benefit of taking one clean energy bird in hand today is better than waiting for that luxury resort developer to come calling. And because leases are so common in the space, brownfield owners can get paid to wait for that highest and best use to materialize somewhere over the rainbow.
Like bluefields, brightfields are an area of intense focus. So, again, Congress seems to be responding to the needs of the market. As solar, wind and other clean energy applications are becoming viable and economic, a cascade effect is rippling through our way of life at home and in business. And this clean energy revolution is reshaping the business of real estate as much or more than any other business. The impact of the boom is burning its way into every business segment, and again like bluefields, the work of building the modern clean energy economy has but only begun.
BUILD Act refocuses the brownfield program on the most formative segments
It’s a lot to make of two small bullets in a 2,232 page omnibus bill. But within the larger brownfield universe, these preferences are a game-changer. Going forward, ‘waterfront/floodplain’ sites and “clean energy” production and efficiency projects will be receiving bonus points in the scoring process of U.S. EPA brownfield grants.
For exactly how many, we’ll have to wait and see what rules EPA returns to Congress with.
But these were already two of the most active segments and now the 2018 BUILD Act makes it official. Bluefields, brightfields, windfields, ecofields as well as a host of other redevelopment species evolving in the broader real estate ecosystem are presenting crucial challenges and manifesting new opportunities in today’s market.
Multiple structural macroeconomic re-adjustments are manifesting at the same time and reinventing the entire global economy once again. In real estate, this change is manifesting across the entire spectrum. Abundant energy resources and low energy prices are revitalizing large scale industries in the U.S. again. Changing consumer preferences and shifting shopping behaviors are creating new sources of industrial real estate demand for high-tech logistics space. And end users, tenants, companies, homebuyers, renters—everyone in seemingly every segment—is demanding higher quality built- and natural environments. We might call it: higher and better habitats.
The real estate industry is delivering new modes of living and new forms of development. But the work has only just begun. Too many humans on the planet are still not living in suitable conditions. Roughly 1 in 10 people on the planet currently lack access to clean drinking water. More than we probably think or would like to admit live right here in the United States, in places like Flint, Michigan, notwithstanding our embarrassment of water riches.
In the grand scheme of things, some additional segmentation in the EPA brownfield program is relatively minor. But the substance of these policies speak volumes to the needs and opportunities of the moment. There are still hundreds of thousands of sites in the U.S. that are contaminated. Millions more around the world. The UN estimates that 1.8 billion people on the planet will face water scarcity by 2025, even as it grapples with increased water flows and too much water in the wrong places at unwelcome times.
But exactly how many sites get cleaned up, how many floods cost us how much blood and treasure, how many people go thirsty or drink contaminated water is completely up to us. We have the technology and the know-how. This is not a hardware problem. The BUILD Act can take one small, constructive step in the right direction. Additional public policy will lend additional support to move into these positive, more resilient directions, but we need dedicated brownfielders to do this work and see it done well.
Thankfully, many are. Many more are joining the ranks. The future of brownfield, bluefield and brightfield development is in their hands. And so too the hope of a sustainable, healthy and happy planet.
Have a potential brightfield site? Test it's market potential free at BL's next solar energy development event:
What cities have said about past BL brightfield events:
According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), a Brightfield is an abandoned or contaminated property that is redeveloped through the incorporation of solar energy, which can be many different types of solar applications including photovoltaic arrays. Brightfield development leads to economic development, environmental cleanup and improved air quality by bringing pollution free solar energy and high tech manufacturing jobs to brownfield sites. A Brightfield's current or desired use is for solar energy production, or it has been professionally designated as suitable for use as a productive solar site; typically verified by one or more third-party reports. Ready Brightfields have some, if not all, utility infrastructure already in place or may simply be near utility lines amenable to solar power distribution. Use the Brightfield tag on BL as one of the many tags in our handy Taxonomy to post any kind of property, project, RFP, RFQ or RFI or planning effort where the solar is relevant
A bluefield possesses water resources itself or has access to a navigable body of water such as a river, sea, or ocean—either directly or via canal or port. Some bluefields can support viable commercial uses, and many of these commercial bluefields have definitive access or riparian rights. Many other Bluefields merely provide simple enjoyment for the property owners and tenants. Use the bluefield tag as one of the many tags in the BrownfieldListings.com Taxonomy to post a watershed development RFP, RFQ or RFI, or to simply signal water resources or concerns on your property or in your project.