Brownfields 101

Brownfields 101: Summary

The first step in developing a Brownfields program is to know what Brownfields are. There are many variations of its definition but they all say essentially the same thing.

Brownfields are real properties where expansion, reuse, or redevelopment may be complicated by real or perceived environmental conditions.

Anyone can initiate a Brownfields redevelopment program in their community but it requires the support and cooperation of many people, including business men and women, other community development organizations, property owners and the specific endorsement of the community’s elected officials.

In order to have a successful Brownfields program there must be dedicated people involved and at least one person to spearhead and follow through on the effort. The key point to any Brownfields program is redevelopment. While the elimination of environmental contamination may be the cornerstone of a Brownfields program, redevelopment is its foundation and ultimate goal.

Brownfields do not necessarily have to be contaminated. As interpreted from its definition, the object is to rejuvenate abandoned, vacant, or underused properties and utilize them to their greatest potential. It is an incentive-driven program with financial enticement for redevelopment and liability relief when cleaning up any discovered contamination. A Brownfields designation opens the door to federal, state, and local incentives that might not otherwise be available, including job creation bonuses.

For more detailed information about Brownfields programs, please click here for a document in PDF format.