The West Virginia. Cyclopedia
Brownfields are real property on which industrial or commercial activity took place in the past and that may need to be cleaned up before they can be redeveloped. The expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of brownfields may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. . Cleaning up and reinvesting in these properties takes development pressures off of undeveloped, open land, and both improves and protects the environment.
With certain legal exclusions and additions, the term `brownfield site' means real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.
EPA’s Brownfields Program
Since its inception in 1995, EPA’s Brownfields Program has grown into a proven, results-oriented program that has changed the way contaminated property is perceived, addressed, and managed. EPA's Brownfields Program is designed to empower states, communities, and other stakeholders in economic redevelopment to work together in a timely manner to prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse brownfields.
Initially, EPA provided small amounts of seed money to local governments that launched hundreds of two-year brownfield "pilot" projects. Through passage of the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act, effective polices that EPA had developed over the years were passed into law. The Brownfields Law expanded EPA's assistance by providing new tools for the public and private sectors to promote sustainable brownfields cleanup and reuse.
Brownfields grants continue to serve as the foundation of EPA’s Brownfields Program. These grants support revitalization efforts by funding environmental assessment, cleanup, and job training activities. Brownfields Assessment Grants provide funding for brownfield inventories, planning, environmental assessments, and community outreach. Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund Grants provide funding to capitalize loans that are used to clean up brownfields. Brownfields Job Training Grants provide environmental training for residents of brownfields communities. Brownfields Cleanup Grants provide direct funding for cleanup activities at certain properties with planned greenspace, recreational, or other nonprofit uses.