What is a Brownfield Site and What Are Their Benefit?
Have you heard of the term “brownfields site,” but aren’t quite sure what is?
If so, don’t worry, because you’re about to find out. A brownfields site is an empty or underutilized lot that is difficult to redevelop or reuse because of an actual or perceived environmental contamination. Eligible brownsfields sites may consist of places like landfills, gas stations, mine sites and any other commercial or industrial space that could potentially be tainted by hazardous materials.
Conversely, locations that may not be eligible are those noted on the EPA’s National Priorities List, sites where contamination is known to present a high risk to public health, places subject to enforcement under certain federal hazardous waste laws and more.
Environmental and Economic Benefits of Brownfield Sites
A brownsfields revitalization program addresses the contamination issues at these sites, so they can be revived. The vast majority of brownsfields sites have been subjected to some form of contamination that must be dealt with before the land is deemed safe for use. During the revitalization process, the tainted area is identified and cleaned up. The process to remove the contaminants may consist of actively removing them or isolating them so they’re unable to escape into the environment.
The benefits of revitalizing a brownsfields site can be both environmental and economic. Environmentally speaking, cleaning up the land is important, as it decreases the amount of harmful contaminants that are released into the environment. This can improve the public health and benefit plant and animal life.
Developing these areas can also improve the state of local economies by increasing property values and creating new places for development in a community. This is a great way to jumpstart depressed areas and make something beautiful out of a space that was once relatively useless.
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