Assessing Brownfield Sites – INSURICA

Assessing Brownfield Sites

Brownfield is property, development, rehabilitation, or reuse that may be difficult due to the presence or presence of a hazardous, polluting, or polluting substance. It is estimated that there are over 450,000 brownfields in the US

Cleaning up and reinvesting in these properties increases local taxes, supports job growth, uses existing resources, removes development constraints from undeveloped, open land, and all helps and protects the environment.

When community members have questions about whether a site is environmentally contaminated, a site assessment is required. Monitoring helps people understand the state of the environment and whether the conditions may be harmful to residents and workers. Site inspections may include Phase I Site Inspections, Phase II Site Inspections and other site inspections.

PHASE I Environmental Management

A Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) uses existing information to help the public understand the condition of the site by examining the site’s current and historical uses and potential risks to public health or the environment. An environmental assessment must be completed or supervised by an environmental specialist, which may include a geologist, engineer or site specialist. They will:

  • See also notes. Explore past and present land use using topography, maps, and history.
  • See also government databases. Review ownership and environmental records related to handling or disposal of hazardous materials and petroleum products.
  • Take a look at this place. Visit the site and nearby locations to check the status.
  • Ask the owners, neighbors and previous employees. Find out what they know about web services that involve waste and chemicals.

If the evidence is known or likely to be contaminated are present at the site, further investigation (Phase II Environmental Site Assessment or additional assessment) is required.

If there is little evidence of possible contamination is found on site, often the next step is to continue using it or refurbish it

Phase One Site Inspection also helps determine who is responsible for environmental damage found on site. Conducting a Pre-occupancy Environmental Assessment Phase is often the same as conducting an All Appropriate Inquiries (AAI), a process required to obtain protection from lawsuits under CERCLA for past contamination. When the owner conducts an AAI (in accordance with the regulations of 40 CFR 312) on a brownfield site, he can have a defense against liability if contamination is found.

Part II Environmental Assessment

A Phase II ESA is recommended if the results of a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment indicate known or potential contaminants at the site, sometimes called identified environmental hazards (RECs). An environmental engineer develops a sampling plan to assess the presence of hazardous substances and oil at the site and assess the sources and exposures. Environmentalists may also consult with state and tribal brownfield programs regarding monitoring activities. They will:

  • Identify the drugs of concern. Identify potential contaminants in soil, groundwater or vacant land based on site history.
  • Examples include testing soil, groundwater and other media. Prepare a model plan for the site. Collect and analyze samples to determine the type and distribution of contaminants.
  • re-examine areas of concern. Review the results and samples you want to find to find hot spots (areas of high risk) and the number of infections.
  • Develop cleanup plans, if needed. Cleaning for reuse protects and reduces exposure. The plan takes into account the layout of buildings, open spaces, slopes and wastes.

If the contamination found at the site exceeds the limit it can be reused, consult with government or tribal staff to develop a cleanup plan. The system uses monitoring data to develop an analysis of brownfield cleanup alternatives that take RECs into account. The cleaning method chosen should minimize risks and maintain safety over time.

If a small amount of contamination that would prevent reuse of the product is foundThe next step is to consult with state or tribal officials before using or renovating.

Although a Phase II Site Assessment usually follows a Phase I Site Assessment, the process for assessing a site is not always the same. If remediation plans change or more than 180 days have passed since the Environmental Assessment, another assessment may be required. In some cases, a Part I or Part II environmental assessment may be required. Additional inspections provide confidence to the community and investors and ensure safe reuse.

For more environmental information, contact INSURICA today.