The U.S. EPA defines a brownfield as, “real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.” Essentially, brownfield sites are abandoned and unused property that is blighted by real or perceived environmental contamination.
The rehabilitation and redevelopment of a brownfield site that encompasses decontamination and the construction of facilities that may be entirely new or that may make use of existing structures.
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act-
established prohibitions and requirements concerning closed and abandoned hazardous
waste sites; provided for liability of persons responsible for releases of hazardous waste
at these sites; and established a trust fund to provide for cleanup when no responsible
party could be identified.
Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development- Mission is
to enhance the economic success of individuals, businesses, and communities by
improving opportunities for prosperity and independence. DEED offers Contamination
Cleanup and Investigation grants to fund the cleanup and investigation of brownfield
Environmental Protection Agency- Mission is to protect human health and the
environment by writing and enforcing regulations based on laws passed by Congress.
The EPA Brownfields program offers cleanup assistance, grant funding, and research to
promote the efficient reuse of brownfields.
Environmental Response Fund- Hennepin and Ramsey Counties offer funding for
assessment and cleanup of contaminated sites on a biannual basis
A site, often on the urban periphery, that has never been developed.
Development that takes place within previously built-up sections of a city; often intersects with brownfield redevelopment as much contaminated land exists within cities.
Like recycling cans and bottles, land recycling is the reuse of abandoned, vacant, or underused properties for redevelopment or repurposing.
The State of Minnesota version of CERCLA
Metropolitan Council TBRA
Tax Base Revitalization Account
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency- monitors environmental quality, offers
technical and financial assistance and enforces environmental regulations in the State of
Petroleum Brownfields- Within MPCA; handles petroleum contamination as listed
under Petroleum Tank Release Cleanup Act
Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment
A report prepared for a real estate holding that
identifies potential or existing environmental contamination. Looks at site history.
Phase 2 Environmental Site Assessment
Conducted when a Recognized Environmental
Concern (REC) is identified in a Phase I. Soil, groundwater, and vapor samples are
collected to determine the extent of contamination.
Response Action Plan
A response action plan is a detailed report that includes the
steps to remediate waste materials, soil, surface water, ground water, and/or air
contamination at or from the property. The plan includes an introduction, a scope and
remedial objectives, a summary of past investigations and determinations, the proposed
response action tasks and schedule. The RAP includes the intended level of cleanup
(residential, industrial, recreational, etc.) for the future property use.
Federal and State program to target the most polluted sites. Monitored,
funded, and regulated by different entities than the brownfields programs.
Sustainability is based on a simple principle: Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment. Sustainability creates and maintains the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations.
A type of development that makes cities and society more environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable.
Technical Assistance to Brownfields- Minnesota Brownfields offers trainings
throughout Greater Minnesota for communities interested in learning more about
brownfield cleanup and funding strategies
A form of development that uses public transit lines to create corridors of high-density development around stations similar to beads on a necklace
A relatively unplanned and uncontrolled form of urban development beyond the compact urban core that results from ever-expanding development on greenfield sites.
Voluntary Investigation and Cleanup- Within MPCA; handles hazardous substance
contamination as listed in Minnesota Environmental Response and Liability Act