Research

Policy & Practices

The Policies and Practices Program formulates specific approaches to reduce or offset the obstacles to economically viable brownfield redevelopment. The program develops integrated programs of short and long-term solutions, which can be implemented in a cost-effective and politically viable manner. The program analyzes and disseminates information about administrative, statutory, and policy reforms on federal, state and regional levels. CCLR also explores the implications in applying these reforms to the development practice. 
 
A combination of research, practice, and advocacy attempts to answer the questions: What needs to change for brownfield redevelopment to be a rational economic choice for private sector investment? What can be done on the local, regional, state, and federal levels to promote these changes?

 

Research

The mission of CCLR's research program is to provide a scientific foundation to support progressive brownfield policy initiatives on both State and Federal levels. Our research projects seek to answer some of the toughest questions in the field, including, "How clean is clean?" For example, our Screening Levels Database (a compilation of cleanup numbers for common contaminants from across the country) was designed by CCLR to facilitate creative and substantive dialogue among states and federal agencies, ultimately leading to the adoption of standardized procedures for setting cleanup levels.

 

CCLR’s latest research analyzes data regarding the specific climate benefits of infill and brownfield development in comparison to sprawl development and green design development, such as LEED certified buildings. Initial results of this study are presented in the Brownfields 101 section of our website.
 



Screening Levels Database for Common Contaminants 

CCLR has developed a Screening Levels Database, a compilation of cleanup numbers and methodologies from across the country. The database is searchable and relational and composed of three essential elements:
 
  1. Screening level data, organized by contaminant and medium for each state. Exposure pathways considered in the development of each screening level are included.
  2. Statistical and graphical analysis tools.
  3. Contact information, data sources, data entry methodology, and cleanup methodologies for each state.
In one recent example, a state regulator noted that his state's screening level for a particular contaminant varied dramatically from that of most other states. He subsequently used CCLR's database to contact the appropriate regulators to discuss the variance, which led to a re-evaluation and adjustment of his state's number.