Brownfields sites are defined as “real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutants or contamination.”
What does a Brownfields site look like? Is it an abandoned gas station or petroleum bulk site? Maybe it is a salvage yard, rubble site, grain elevator or an abandoned hospital or school? Each community has these types of sites.
Do You Have a Brownfields Site In Your Community?
In the early 1990s, concerns were expressed nationally that many properties once used for industrial, manufacturing, or other commercial purposes were abandoned or underused due to the suspicion of contamination. Unknown environmental liabilities were keeping developers from restoring these properties to a productive use. The South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has received federal funds to assist communities with the assessment and clean-up of abandoned, idle or underused properties. Whether the property is vacant because of actual environmental contamination or the perception of possible contamination, redevelopment of these areas can increase property values, create jobs and generate local property and sales tax revenues.
Under the state’s Brownfields Program, DENR works with municipalities, realtors, and developers to identify potentially eligible Brownfields sites. Once identified and if the municipality is supportive, DENR uses these federal funds to hire an environmental contractor to perform record searches and on-site testing and, if necessary, develop cleanup plans and cost estimates for the property. In certain situations, DENR can also assist in the cost to clean up the contamination so the property can be redeveloped. These funds require no match from the community.
If you have a question or would like to learn more about the Brownfields Program, please contact Kim McIntosh at DENR, 605-773-3296.
Source: “Brownfields”, South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources, January 1, 2014