United States
                       Protection Agency
                       Washington, D.C. 20460
Solid Waste
and Emergency
Response (5101)
May 1997

                       National   Brownfields
                       Assessment  Pilot
                                                             Houston,  TX
  Outreach and Special Projects Staff (5101)
                Quick Reference Fact Sheet
EPA's Brownfields Economic Redevelopment Initiative is designed to empower States, communities,  and other
stakeholders in economic redevelopment to work together in a timely manner to prevent, assess, safely clean up, and
sustainably reuse brownfields. A brownfield is a site, or portion thereof, that has actual or perceived contamination and
an active potential for redevelopment or reuse. Between 1995 and 1996, EPA funded 76 National and Regional Brownfields
Assessment Pilots, at up to $200,000 each, to support creative two-year explorations and demonstrations of brownfields
solutions. EPAis funding morethan 27 Pilots in 1997. The Pilots are intended to provide EPA, States, Tribes, municipalities,
and communities with useful information and strategies as they continue to seek new methods to promote a unified
approach to site assessment, environmental cleanup, and redevelopment.

EPA selected the City of Houston for a Brownfields
Pilot. Houston's economic boom during the 1970s
and 1980s contributed to rapid expansion in outlying
"greenfields," pulling businesses and residents from
the city core and leaving behind a population with
relatively low skills as well as large tracts of land that
may be  environmentally  affected. Suspicion  of
environmental problems encourages industry to locate
elsewhere, leaving few incentives for revitalization
and delaying  numerous  redevelopment  efforts
adjacent to the  core area.


Houston's overall  brownfields revitalization plans
are  to increase jobs, establish  a  permanent
organizational  infrastructure for future brownfields
redevelopment, reuse inner-city property, and bring
tax-delinquent properties back to the City's tax rolls.
Houston  proposes to  select a pilot brownfield
redevelopment project and evaluate its long-term
effect on the economic vitality of the inner city. The
EPA grant is being used to identify candidate sites,
conduct environmental assessments of selected sites,
coordinate and educate  stakeholders, develop
educational materials, establish a land redevelopment
committee, and evaluate financial incentives for the
   Houston, Texas
                    Date of Award:
                    March 1996

                    Amount: $200,000

                    Site Profile: The Pilot
                    targets eight sites in a 20-
                    square mile area in
                    Houston's inner city for
                    redevelopment activities.

Jimmie Schindewolf
Houston Department of
Public Works and
  Stan Hitt
  U.S. EPA-Region 6
        Visit the EPA Brownfields Website at:


The Pilot has:

 Established the Land  Development Committee
 (LDC) comprised of multiple stakeholders, including
 community, local business, and environmental and
 City representatives to advise the pilot project;

 Developed a set of site criteria for selecting potential
 brownfields sites for targeted assessment;

 Conducted tours of potential Pilot sites and met with
 community leaders regarding the identification and
 selection process; and

 Established abrownfields information phone line, is
 developing a local brownfields newsletter, and has
 conducted several pre sentations throughout the year
 to establish communication and education among
 real estate, financial, technical, governmental, and
 community groups.

The Pilot is:

 Collecting environmental and well water reports on
 seven properties to determine which additional sites
 are good candidates for redevelopment and which
 require additional site characterization; and

 Focusing on four sites in the brownfields inventory;
 will conduct and evaluate environmental assessments
 of these sites.


Experience with the Houston Pilothas been acatalyst
for related activities  including the following.

 Developing and implementing a model redevelop-
 ment process, involving financial incentives, com-
 munity outreach and education, targeted job oppor-
 tunities, and the new Texas Voluntary Cleanup Act
 to help developers and purchasers limit their liabil-

 Using the Pilot to leverage other support, including
 $175 million  in  economic development loan
 National Brownfields Assessment Pilot                                                    Houston, Texas
 May 1997                                                                      EPA 500-F-97-015