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Directory of Technical Assistance for Land Revitalization

Appendix B. EPA Land Revitalization Agenda
April 10, 2003

The goals of EPA's Land Revitalization Agenda are to:

  • Clean up our nation's contaminated land resources so that communities are able to safely return them to productive use;
  • Ensure that cleanups protect public health, welfare, and the environment and ensure that cleanups are consistent with future land use; and
  • Communicate information about cleanups that may be relevant to reuse.

EPA's Land Revitalization Agenda provides a menu of policies and practices the Agency may employ to further reuse as a part of cleanup in Regional Reuse Work Plans and through other national efforts.

Objective: Integrate Land Reuse into Cleanup Programs
  • Conduct reuse assessments in cleanup of contaminated properties
    • Develop screening processes to identify property characteristics that facilitate reuse
    • Identify properties undergoing cleanup that have significant potential to meet green space and other community needs (e.g., parks, habitats for native species, bike trails), as well as economic and restoration needs
    • Assess the reuse potential of remedial properties

  • Collect, maintain, and disseminate environmental information that facilitates reuse
    • Modify outputs of the federal site assessment process (e.g., readable summaries) across cleanup programs in ways that make them more directly useful and readily available to the local community
    • Build on ongoing work with the General Services Administration to expeditiously identify parcels of federally-owned property ready for reuse as part of cleanup
    • Use sampling data early in the cleanup process to characterize where contamination is known and not known and/or develop a method to describe "areas of EPA interest" (as opposed to site boundaries) in order to make it easier for the public to recognize when property is available for reuse
    • Develop and disseminate information on sustainable incentives, strategies, and resources that promote reuse in cleaning up underutilized or idled private properties
    • Develop and pilot an Internet-based Land Revitalization Clearinghouse (e.g., using a Multiple Listing Service-type system for properties) of properties being cleaned up to provide a publicly-available national inventory with site-specific information for use by developers, community members, and others
    • Integrate OSWER web information on reuse in cleanup programs to enhance public access and emphasize the priority of revitalization across all cleanup programs

  • Review policies, guidance, and practices to make reuse considerations an integral part of EPA's cleanup programs
    • Address barriers to redevelopment under CERCLA, RCRA, TSCA and other laws, through revised guidance, regulations, or practices

  • Develop performance measures for reuse
    • Establish a single, cross-program reuse measure of success (e.g., "land ready for reuse") for OSWER

  • Establish a process to determine when a property is safe for reuse
    • Pilot "ready for reuse" technical determinations to clarify appropriate reuses
    • Develop principles for implementing "ready for reuse" technical determinations

  • Develop guidance on how to make portions of sites available for reuse ("parceling") during cleanup under RCRA and CERCLA to benefit cleanup and community reuse goals
    • Increase use of partial deletion authorities at Superfund sites

  • Develop and improve the use of technology to assess and clean up contamination
    • Endorse and promote field analytical methods to characterize sites and minimize costs
    • Work with the states and tribes to identify efficiencies in the use of area-wide assessments that reduce cost
    • Promote the use of EPA's capabilities to provide technology assistance in support of brownfields cleanup

  • Explore policies and practices for furthering land reuse in cleanups undertaken by potentially responsible parties (PRPs)
    • Explore options for accommodating reuse assessment and consideration of future land use in achieving cleanups at PRP-lead sites
    • Promote use of supplemental environmental projects (SEPs) to facilitate reuse in penalty actions, across statutes

  • Address the liability concerns of parties involved in sale and acquisition of property for productive reuse that is subject to RCRA requirements
    • Use available mechanisms (e.g., completion determinations, remedial action plans, comfort letters, and RCRA prospective purchaser agreements) to facilitate property cleanup and reuse
    • Evaluate RCRA administrative liability relief for municipalities when they involuntarily acquire contaminated property
    • Evaluate state innovations for lender liability relief at RCRA facilities

  • Coordinate grants affecting reuse across multiple federal cleanup programs to target area-wide clusters of properties
Objective: Develop Partnerships to Further Land Reuse in Cleanup
  • Implement an urban river restoration initiative
    • Establish an inter-agency partnership with the Department of the Army to leverage U.S. Army Corp of Engineers and EPA resources and authorities for urban river restoration demonstration projects that achieve both cleanup and revitalization
    • Announce urban river restoration pilots

  • Create broad-based public/private partnerships for reuse
    • Expand EPA Regional efforts to achieve cleanup goals (e.g., RCRA GPRA goals and NPL "construction completes") that facilitate land reuse through communication (e.g., through Regional meetings) with both private and public Superfund responsible parties, RCRA responsible owners and operators, and other regulated entities
    • Partner with the petroleum industry to foster reuse opportunities in cleanups that are associated with industry mergers and divestiture of assets
    • Expand the use of partnerships that stimulate private investment in reuse activities as part of cleanup, similar to EPA's recently announced partnership with Habitat for Humanity or partnership with the Soccer Foundation
    • Undertake insurance symposia to discuss the potential roles of environmental insurance—past, present and future—in furthering cleanups that promote property reuse

  • Explore long-term land stewardship options
    • Study the use of innovative public and private stewardship and property reuse mechanisms to support cleanup by managing institutional controls and long-term property care
    • Partner with states, tribes, local governments, and the private sector to pilot the use of "one-call" systems (e.g., one telephone number) that simplify management of long-term controls
    • Explore options to establish links among existing state/tribal, local, and federal web-based data systems for the identification and enforcement of institutional controls

  • Strengthen federal, state, and tribal partnerships
    • Undertake needs surveys, under the auspices of the EPA and State Senior Cleanup Council and state and tribal associations, to look at various state/tribal land revitalization needs in the context of cleanup
    • Partner with states and tribes to foster unified approaches to cleanup and revitalization
    • Partner with DoD, DOE, and other federal agencies to achieve cleanups that foster reuse
    • Develop a "how to" guide for communities to undertake cleanups at mining waste properties that result in reuse, including natural restoration technologies

  • Ensure early and meaningful community involvement in clean up and reuse assessment
    • Hold Community Revitalization Workshops to provide urban and rural local officials and citizens in large and small communities with the tools and training to meet revitalization challenges in cleanup
    • Package and disseminate information on all community-related EPA grant programs that may enhance opportunities for land reuse

  • Partner with the Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice
    • Hold environmental justice listening sessions in several locations to focus attention on reuse issues and revitalization activities
    • Coordinate environmental justice revitalization projects with the Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice

  • Partner with industry to recognize industry accomplishments in cleanup that foster reuse
    • Encourage and recognize large and small companies' voluntary commitments to achieve cleanup goals that foster reuse
    • Establish an awards program

  • Integrate property cleanup with local "smart growth" land use planning and other initiatives
    • Identify which Superfund/RCRA/Brownfield/UST sites are in "smart growth zones" to integrate cleanup with local "smart growth" land use planning that minimizes the air, water, and land quality impacts of the redevelopment
    • Promote pollution prevention in waste cleanup projects, including the use of recycled, bio-based, and environmentally preferable products in land use applications, and the use of "green buildings" and "green energy"
Objective: Instill a Culture of Land Reuse in our Organizations
  • Empower the Regions to make cleanup decisions that protect human health and the environment and promote reuse as a priority
    • Create a "Regional Reuse Coordinator(s) Team" in each EPA Region to champion revitalization policy reforms, develop Regional work plans with specific goals, strengthen state/tribal/EPA coordination, work with State Small Business Assistance Programs (SBAPs) to encourage reuse, overcome obstacles among site cleanup requirements, and facilitate Community Revitalization Roundtables
    • Assemble expert Revitalization Technical Assistance Team to assist site managers and communities with site evaluation, "visioning" meetings with local officials and community members, and cleanup that considers revitalization
    • Incorporate land reuse considerations in Superfund removal and oil spill response programs through policy and guidance (e.g., to expedite site assessment and facilitate reuse through clean up of site "parcels")

  • Train EPA, state, tribal, and local governments on reuse practices relevant to cleanup
    • Assess Regional and HQ reuse training needs
    • Identify and utilize key training resources, including EPA, other federal agencies, states, tribes, universities, Hazardous Substance Research Centers, and other organizations
    • Conduct real estate training and environmental insurance training for program and counsel staff and management to help achieve cleanups that facilitate reuse
    • Develop web-based training approaches
    • Hold "brown bag" meetings for HQ and Regional staff on key reuse issues to focus discussion and enhance coordination across OSWER and EPA

  • Recognize federal, state, tribal, and local government reuse accomplishments
    • Establish awards for EPA, state, and tribal staff and management who work creatively in partnership with key "stakeholders" to make reuse principles a central part of their jobs in all cleanup programs
    • Provide national recognition for states and tribes, other governmental agencies, communities, developers, etc., in cooperation with sponsors of the Phoenix Awards, for those who have been instrumental in the successful revitalization of contaminated properties in a wide range of cleanup programs
Objective: Implement the New Brownfields Law
  • Request budget increase for brownfields activities to $210 million in fiscal year 2004
  • Integrate and streamline brownfields grants application processes
  • Expand the number and types of brownfields grants under the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act
    • Make grants available: for sites eligible (e.g., to address petroleum contamination, mine-scarred lands, sites contaminated by a controlled substance, RCRA sites); to entities eligible for certain types of grants (e.g., non-profit organizations); and for purposes eligible (e.g., planning)
    • Make grants available specifically for brownfields cleanup

  • Conduct outreach activities to implement the new law
    • Work with states, tribes, local governments, federal agencies, and others to identify and address barriers to land revitalization
    • Explore the need for new or amended state-EPA agreements (MOUs and MOAs), in close consultation with the states and tribes and consistent with needs surveys (see "Develop Partnerships that Further Land Reuse in Cleanup")

  • Clarify applicability of liability provisions in the new law
    • Implement prospective purchaser, innocent landowner, and contiguous property owner sections of the law
    • Develop a regulation on site assessment processes to protect human health and the environment and public welfare, harmonizing federal and private sector approaches in order to facilitate future uses

Appendix C

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