The purpose of this paper is to assist regulators, consultants, other stakeholders in understanding the principles of remediating and revegetating contaminated sites and to encourage widespread use of this alternative to revitalize and reuse contaminated land.
This primer outlines the principles of green remediation and describes opportunities to reduce the footprint of cleanup activities throughout the life of a project. Best management practices (BMPs) outlined in this document help decision-makers, communities, and other stakeholders (such as project managers, field staff, and engineering contractors) identify new strategies in terms of sustainability.
This fact sheet is one of a series describing best management practices (BMPs) for green remediation, which holistically addresses a cleanup project’s (1) energy requirements, (2) air emissions, (3) impacts on water, (4) material consumption and waste generation, (5) impacts on land and ecosystems, and (6) long-term stewardship actions. BMPs can be used for sustainable removal or cleanup activities at contaminated sites under Superfund, corrective action, underground storage tank, and brownfield cleanup programs.
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry's Brownfield/Land Reuse Health Initiative helps communities incorporate health considerations in land reuse decisions. People can turn vacant or underused land into places that benefit the whole community. ATSDR works with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), state and local officials, developers, and communities to include health in these types of projects.
Emeryville, California is a small city in the San Francisco Bay Area that faced the challenge of redeveloping partially abandoned and underutilized industrial properties, while protecting environmental and public health. In the early 1970's, it suffered from high crime and unemployment rates, high vacancies of non-residential properties, and perceived extensive groundwater contamination.
There are approximately 120 land banks and land banking programs throughout the nation. Land banks are public authorities or special purpose non-profit organizations created to act as legal and financial conduits to transform, hold, manage, repurpose, and develop vacant, abandoned, tax-foreclosed, and other problem properties that have been discarded or underutilized by the private market.