5 Things to Know About Brownfield Redevelopment

December 13, 2016

5 Things to Know About Brownfield Redevelopment

Brownfield redevelopments can be some of the most complicated in all of real estate. They often present huge unknowns which is why it’s critical for developers to work with a reputable environmental services firm when pursuing Brownfield property.

Shield Engineering and Action Environmental have years of experience managing and mitigating contaminations at Brownfield sites. Here’s what you need to know about redeveloping this kind of land.

1. Brownfield properties are a good deal…sometimes
Brownfield properties are often priced under the market, but for good reason. Don’t necessarily assume a property is a great deal simply because it’s underpriced; the costs for cleaning and redeveloping the land should be considered. Conversely, these underutilized lands can provide great benefit to developers and the community at large.

2. Brownfield lands have many sources
There are dozens of commercial uses that can render lands “contaminated” over time. Some of the most commonly designated Brownfield properties include former gas stations, factories, dry cleaners, mills, warehouses, parking lots, railroads, and even landfills.

3. Potential liabilities run far and wide
Two regulations in particular, CERCLA and RCRA, dictate the restrictions and legal ramifications of purchasing Brownfield land. Under CERCLA, any purchaser of real property can be held liable for environmental contaminants found, so a thorough inspection (ESA) of such property before purchase is critical.

4. Thank Brownfields for ESAs
Environmental Site Assessments evolved from the redevelopment of Brownfield lands. ESAs are now multi-step processes that have become standardized across the country. Research and documentation make up Phase I, delineation of contaminants is Phase II, and Phase III consists of a detailed plan for mitigation if necessary.

5. Brownfield laws vary state to state
It’s important to know that Brownfield laws aren’t consistent country-wide! Superfund laws and Voluntary Cleanup Programs are present in over 45 states and both offer financial incentives concerning underused Brownfield land. Knowing the laws – and benefits – in your state is a critical first step in redevelopment.

Need consultation on what it takes to redevelop Brownfield land? Shield Engineering is your one-stop-shop for environmental engineering assessments, evaluations, and mitigation. Give our team a call today to talk more about your upcoming project.

Back to News