North American Coalition for Maintaining Mother Earth

Posted by Mikalah On April - 30 - 2013 0 Comment

You may have heard on the news or read in the paper about brownfields, and the environmental problems they pose, and the legalities companies face in order to take care of them. However, it’s sometimes difficult to understand what a brownfield entails, who is responsible for cleanup, and what can be done to turn a brownfield into a functioning part of society.

What are Brownfield Sites?

Brownfield sites are unused or abandoned commercial or industrial sites that at one point saw a great deal of activity, but have been since deemed environmentally contaminated and unfit to conduct commercial activities. Typically brownfields are contaminated with low levels of hazardous materials deep beneath the surface from leaking underground storage tanks or from leaking storage tanks above ground.

Who is Responsible

Typically, the previous owners of the site are responsible for any cleanup costs that need to be carried out. However, it can be a bit difficult to locate the owners who may have gone out of business long ago. Quite often legalities come in, and the current or future owners of the carry the financial burden of redeveloping the site, often with the help of local governments. Banks often enter the picture, and help fund the sites, which may see a promising return on investment many years down the road.

What Can Be Done?

Brownfield redevelopment and remediation services are available for many of these types of properties, and involve diagnosing the property, determining where funding will be coming from and the costs involved for cleanup, and then implementing the cleanup over a period of time. Although initial costs will strongly outweigh any benefits, the financial value of the property can be large for local governments who collect taxes and to the local community that look for new ways to expand the economic activity of their area.



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