Proper soil remediation and disposal help mitigate contamination risks
Soil contamination in urban areas is mainly caused by activities like manufacturing, waste disposal, dry cleaning and industrial dumping. These practices often leave a trail of contaminants such as petroleum products, chlorinated solvents and heavy metals. Soil pollution presents a risk for human exposure to harmful chemicals through ingestion, inh...
Continue reading
The new definition of Recognized Environmental Condition
American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) International recently submitted a new standard for conducting Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs) to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for review. The E1527-21 standard clarifies the definitions of Recognized Environmental Condition (REC), Historical Recognized Environmental ...
Continue reading
Budgeting for underground storage tank removal
For a developer or a municipality involved in a land remediation project, finding an underground storage tank (UST) on the property can have various implications, including: Risks of potential tank leakage.Reduction in property valuation.Increased project costs. Environmental hazards associated with underground storage tanks call for adding conting...
Continue reading
Emerging contaminants of concern in your Phase I Environmental Site Assessment
There is an updated standard for conducting Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs), courtesy of ASTM International. The revised standard, known as ASTM E-1527-21, includes directions for addressing emerging contaminants in ESAs. Municipalities and developers conducting due diligence for contaminated land remediation projects should be aware ...
Continue reading
How do brownfield tax credits work?
Federal, state and local tax incentives and credits support brownfield redevelopment by providing site developers with financial assistance. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) extends brownfield tax credits through various federal and state programs that: Let a brownfield developer redirect financial resources that are otherwise used to...
Continue reading
Environmental remediation costs: Estimating and funding cleanup
Environmental remediation costs include preliminary assessments, site investigations, feasibility studies, remedial actions and more. While some of these costs are fixed, many vary from site to site and can be a challenge to estimate. During environmental cleanup projects, developers often begin work only to realize there are significant difference...
Continue reading
Greyfield development: Benefits and how to get started
Greyfields are commercial or retail sites, such as shopping centers, strip malls and big-box stores, that have been abandoned after a period of disinvestment. Unlike brownfields, greyfields are not necessarily contaminated, which makes them attractive candidates for redevelopment projects seeking to revitalize the surrounding community. Below, we d...
Continue reading
What is a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment?
As a municipality or developer, you are committed to redeveloping unusable, contaminated properties in your community and transforming them into assets. Because of their history, though, these properties often require Phase II Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs) before redevelopment can begin. A significant aspect of brownfield redevelopment invo...
Continue reading
Contaminated land remediation: Choosing a solution
Industrial activities such as manufacturing, mining, oil and fuel dumping, fertilizer application and improper waste disposal may contaminate the natural soil environment. The resulting heavy metals, organic and inorganic compounds, petroleum hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and pesticides present in the soil pose potential health ris...
Continue reading
When is an Environmental Site Assessment required?
Many communities suffer blight because of abandoned properties that do not generate value and pose a potential risk to public safety. Developers often consider abandoned properties — from small filling stations to industrial-scale factories — too complicated and costly for reuse. For municipalities, though, brownfield redevelopment projects offer o...
Continue reading
What is a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment?
A Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) represents the foundation of any responsible brownfield redevelopment project and provides legal protections for environmental liability, which is important for any landowner. The site assessment seeks to discover contaminants, hazardous substances or pollutants that may threaten site environmental...
Continue reading
4 key benefits of brownfield redevelopment
An abandoned and underused brownfield is often an eyesore to the surrounding community. Additionally, brownfield sites present potential health and safety risks to community members. After redevelopment, though, the same contaminated site can enable sustainable land reuse and development, revitalize the local economy and transform the entire commun...
Continue reading
Brownfield grants: Finding redevelopment funding
More than 450,000 brownfields across the U.S. are contaminated with lead, petroleum, asbestos, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other pollutants. Although redeveloping these brownfield sites holds immense potential for the local economy and the environment, municipalities often are unable to initiate such capital-intensive projects. A brownfie...
Continue reading
Investing in brownfield redevelopment revitalizes communities
Fehr Graham Principal Joel Zirkle has worked on brownfield redevelopment for years to help communities throughout the Midwest littered with properties like the old Barber-Colman manufacturing complex in Rockford, Illinois. Many buildings that once employed hundreds, or even thousands of people, now sit abandoned and unsafe. Are you concerned about ...
Continue reading
Environmental due dilligence: An important first step in property transactions
Environmental due diligence, simply put, is how we summarize the environmental conditions of properties. The most common first step of environmental due diligence is a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA), which was talked about in a blog post about brownfield redevelopment. Here, I’ll address some frequently asked questions about Phase I ES...
Continue reading
From eyesore to asset: Brownfield redevelopment reinvigorates communities
  Brownfield redevelopment transforms blighted, deteriorated and contaminated properties into community assets. The hope is to remove eyesores and entice development – everything from new parks, homes and retailers to commercial and industrial parks. To better understand brownfield redevelopment and its benefits, here are answers to some commo...
Continue reading