EPA Report: The State of State Brownfield and Voluntary Response Programs
Updated and user-friendly EPA reference tool provides a brief synopsis of each state's response program and contact information.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released its latest state of state response programs report as it wraps up a big year in brownfields. Just in the last month, 2018 brownfield cleanup and assessment grants came due, environmental workforce development grants came due, a big new brownfield bill sailed through the House of Representatives with over 400 votes and it was all capped by the very well attended and power packed National Brownfields Training Conference, Brownfields 2017, earlier this month in Pittsburgh.
EPA’s 2017 “The State Brownfields and Voluntary Response Programs Report” explores the ever-evolving landscape of state environmental, financial and technical programs designed to promote brownfields cleanup and reuse. The report provides a concise, user-friendly synopsis of the programs and tools that are available through state programs. The information contained in the report was gathered by EPA from state response program websites and its many local program contacts. It’s the perfect companion to other great go-to resources EPA has put together in the past, such as last year’s Getting to ‘No Further Action’ in All 50 States report.
State brownfield programs continue to be at the forefront of brownfield assessment, cleanup and redevelopment. Like the national brownfield program’s long history of extreme bipartisan support, all brownfield stakeholders recognize the responsibilities and opportunities of state response programs in ensuring protective and sustainable cleanups. The increasing number of properties entering state programs emphasizes the states’ essential role in brownfields cleanup.
U.S. EPA's 2017 ‘state of state brownfield programs’ update report looks at several components of state brownfields and voluntary response programs. First, there is a “Program Overview” section that lays out the basics of each state’s voluntary response program and any other brownfields related cleanup programs. It provides program titles and contact information for each state program, and discusses administrative elements, such as program costs, fees for service, and sources of funding for program staff and operations.
Second, sections with reviews of Cleanup Activities by state is a major part of the update. To the extent that states provided the necessary data, the report contains information on the number of properties that entered and/or subsequently completed a state’s voluntary cleanup program.
Third, the Financial Elements section provides an explanation of assessment and cleanup funding, tax incentives, and other forms of brownfields redevelopment support available under state programs, such as environmental insurance. The report also includes information on financial programs directly available through state voluntary response programs, as well as other incentive programs applicable to brownfields reuse efforts. There’s also information on funding sources, funding amounts, and a program’s focus on special types of properties, such as dry cleaners or petroleum properties, as well as a discussion of liability relief provisions.
Finally, the Program Elements section in the report provides information on the technical elements of individual state programs. It includes information on applicable cleanup methods and standards, contaminants covered or excluded under state programs, requirements governing institutional controls, and state approaches to long-term stewardship.
True the Founders’ idea of a “laboratory of states,” state brownfield programs will continue to experiment with new and different approaches to redevelopment. Each state, supporting a growing number of municipal programs, will continue to innovate through its legacy land obstacles and put solutions in place to meet their goals and address the diverse challenges of brownfields reuse. Connecticut, for example, recently revamped its brownfield program completely—adding novel workforce requirements.
In the coming years—as the real estate renaissance continues to elevate our built-environment to higher levels of form and function—state programs will continue to play an essential role in recapturing the productive potential of one of our most important resources: land. Long seen as land use problems, brownfields, greyfields and marginals lands of all types are being rediscovered as resources essential in optimizing where we all live, work and play every day.
Below, the report’s highlights are provided, by region.
Access the entire “The State Brownfields and Voluntary Response Programs Report” here (PDF).
And check out all the resources available on EPA's brownfield website at www.epa.gov/brownfields
REGION 1 PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS EPA
- Region 1 states have used Section 128(a) Response Program funding to conduct assessments on over 330 properties, clean up 52 properties, create over 50 jobs, and leverage nearly $25 million.
- In 2017, communities across New England will receive $8 million from EPA to help revitalize former industrial and commercial sites, transforming them from abandoned and blighted properties into community assets.
- Many New England urban communities are now reclaiming their waterfronts and creating vibrant residential and mixed-use communities with waterfront access and open space through rezoning.
REGION 2 PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
- EPA Region 2 states and territories have used Section 128(a) Response Program funding to conduct assessments on over 28 properties and leverage over $575,000.
- EPA Region 2 states are working on the nexus of brownfield redevelopment on combined sewer outfalls (CSOs) in urban centers and managing stormwater during and after site development.
- EPA Region 2 states and communities continue to address the management of fill, including the reuse of historic fill, on its projects sites.
REGION 3 PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
- EPA Region 3 entities are proactively addressing their brownfield sites and turning them into revitalized properties. The common thread of each EPA Region 3 entity includes; ensuring the maintenance of an brownfield sites inventory, ability to oversee and enforce environmental law, an inclusive process for community involvement and implementing procedures to verify the efficacy of a brownfield cleanup.
- EPA Region 3 entities offer liability relief protection when following a strict process for property purchase, assessment and cleanup through an entity Voluntary Cleanup Program. This necessary structure provides the foundation to turn brownfield sites into revitalized properties.
- The implementation of Institutional Controls allow for EPA Region 3 entities to conduct targeted cleanups with a strong consideration of cost control facilitating an effective and timely cleanup at brownfield sites.
REGION 4 PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
- EPA Region 4 states have used Section 128(a) Response Program funding to conduct assessments on over 220 properties, clean up 18 properties, create over 360 jobs, and leverage nearly $116 million.
- As part of the EPA Administrator’s priority to cleanup communities, the EPA Region 4 Brownfields Program provides funds and technical assistance to states, communities and other public and nonprofit partners to identify, assess, safely cleanup, and plan for revitalization/reuse of Brownfields properties in the Southeastern US.
REGION 5 PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
- EPA Region 5 states have used Section 128(a) Response Program funding to conduct assessments on over 313 properties, clean up 7 properties, create over 33 jobs, and leverage nearly $14 million.
- The Land Revitalization Program in Region 5 is focused on restoring land and other natural resources into sustainable community assets that maximize beneficial economic, ecological and social uses to ensure protection of human health and the environment.
REGION 6 PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
- EPA Region 6 states have used Section 128(a) Response Program funding to conduct assessments on over 294 properties, clean up 17 properties, create over 3,300 jobs, and leverage nearly $137 million.
- Several Regions 6 states—Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico—are assessing and cleaning up contaminated service stations, motels, and businesses along historic Route 66, boosting economic development along the historic corridor.
REGION 7 PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
- Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska have used the funding to conduct assessments on nearly 900 properties, clean up over 30 properties, create over 800 jobs, and leverage nearly $130 million.
- In 2017, communities across the Midwest will receive $1.75 million from EPA to empower communities and stakeholders to work together with their states to prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse brownfields.
- EPA Region 7 states provide crucial support to these communities to both access the EPA funding and to effectively use the resources to achieve the overall outcomes that Congress intended. EPA Region 7 states continue to support community-led redevelopment projects and actively seek out opportunities for increased collaboration in mutually beneficial projects across the Heartland.
REGION 8 PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
- Revolving Loan Fund grantees in Montana, Colorado and Utah have provided over $21 million in loans and grants that have resulted in 50 cleanups, $1 billion in dollars leveraged, 3,662 jobs and over 220 acres ready-for-reuse.
- Of the 341 cleanups that have been completed nationally using Section 128(a) Response Program funds, Region 8 states responsible for completing 81 of those; that’s 25% of all Section 128(a) funded cleanups.
REGION 9 PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
- EPA Region 9 states have used Section 128(a) Response Program funding to conduct assessments on over 130 properties, cleanup 34 properties, create over 447 jobs, and leverage nearly $2.5 million.
- Many EPA Region 9 communities have focused their brownfields redevelopment on overlooked and underutilized properties within the urban core that are ideal for high density infill development and transit-oriented development (TOD). These projects provide additional housing with easy access to jobs and services (reduce greenhouse emissions and stormwater runoff), increase property values, inspire further revitalization and stabilize communities by attracting new resources and a greater diversity of income levels.
REGION 10 PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
- EPA Region 10 states have used Section 128(a) Response Program funding to conduct assessments on over 321 properties, clean up 38 properties, create over 650 jobs, and leverage nearly $54.8 million.
- In 2017, communities across the Northwest and Alaska will receive $15 million from EPA to help revitalize former industrial and commercial sites, transforming them from abandoned and blighted properties into community assets.
Click the image below to download the report.