Sustainable Reuse—Ensuring that a
Brownfield's  Reuse Offers the Greatest
Social, Economic, and Environmental
Benefit to the Community
EPA's Brownfields Program 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 property,
the expansion,  redevelopment, or reuse  of which may be  complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous
substance, pollutant, or contaminant.  EPA's Brownfields  Program provides financial and technical assistance for brownfield
revitalization, including grants for environmental assessment, cleanup, and job training.
  The Value of Sustainable Development
  In the years prior to EPA's Brownfields Program, communities dealt with
  a steady loss of greenspace as land development crept further outward
  from the urban core. Along with that sprawl came the proliferation of
  abandoned commercial and industrial sites as well as declines in urban
  investment, property taxes, and employment opportunities for city residents.
  Communities across the country were negatively affected by these trends
  in sprawling development.

  While EPA's Brownfields Program has proven success in returning sites
  to use, having  assessed more than 4,300 properties and leveraged more
  than $5 billion in redevelopment funding, the Program has also made
  sustainable development one of its primary goals. In the context of restoring
  brownfields, sustainable development does not refer solely to removing
  potentially hazardous contamination and getting a new business located
  on the property. Ultimately, sustainable development means finding an
  approach to brownfields reuse that offers the most significant long-term
  benefits to the local community, taking into account environmental,
  economic, and other quality-of-life measures.

  Empowering the Community and Benefitting
  Local Residents
  In 1990, Bridgeport, Connecticut, had become one of the  poorest and
  most highly taxed cities in the nation, with an estimated 400 brownfields
  detracting from the lives of the city's residents. No one suffered from this
  bleak situation more than the nearly 39,000 residents of Bridgeport's
  impoverished West End, an  area rife with former industrial sites. But
  today, through the efforts of the community and assistance from an EPA
  Brownfields Pilot grant, West End residents enjoy a variety of recreational
  opportunities on what used to be one of those blighted properties.

  One of West End's brownfields, Went Field, was once the site of Barnum
  Circus' winter quarters and was used to house a variety of circus animals.
                                                 continued ^
                                                  New recreational space on Bridgeport,
                                                  Connecticut's former Went Field site.

                                              JUST  THE FACTS:
                                                Ultimately, sustainable development
                                                means finding an approach to
                                                brownfields reuse that offers the most
                                                significant long-term benefits to the
                                                local community, taking into account
                                                environmental, economic, and other
                                                quality-of-life measures.

                                                In one of Bridgeport, Connecticut's
                                                poorest neighborhoods, a brownfield
                                                was transformed into  a multi-use
                                                recreational park with four basketball
                                                courts, three softball fields, practice
                                                fields for football and soccer, a
                                                volleyball court, a fenced playground,
                                                a pavilion, and an amphitheater.

                                                Among Clearwater, Florida's many
                                                successful brownfields projects is the
                                                redevelopment of a former gas station
                                                into a free health clinic that serves a
                                                disadvantaged community.

   More recently, the site had been used by a metals processing company and an engraving/printing business.  Funds
   from an EPA Assessment Demonstration Pilot awarded to Bridgeport, and an additional $75,000 from EPA's Targeted
   Brownfields Assessment Program, revealed toluene and chlorinated solvents in the groundwater.

   Once local residents became aware that this site was being assessed and would be cleaned up for eventual reuse, the
   community became actively involved in the reuse decision process. Ultimately, the community support that emerged
   for Went Field's restoration came to be considered one of the project's greatest successes.  Local residents,
   representatives from adjacent Elias Howe Elementary School and Bassick High School, municipal planning, police,
   and park departments, and non-profits like ASPIRA (an organization that supports Latino youth) and Groundworks
   Bridgeport (an organization that supports local redevelopment projects) were among those involved in the planning
   process. Local residents and group representatives attended public safety and update meetings, publicity events, and
   design charettes, and helped to determine what Went Field's reuse should be.

   Went Field's $4.4 million cleanup and redevelopment was funded through city bond funds, a community fundraising
   effort, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the National Park  Service,  and the State of
   Connecticut's Departments of Environmental Protection and Community Development. This former brownfield has
   been transformed into a multi-use recreational park that features four basketball courts, three softball fields, practice
   fields for football and soccer, track and field elements, a volleyball court, a fenced playground, a pavilion, and an
   amphitheater.  Elias Howe Elementary School now has a recreation area and Bassick High School has athletic
   practice fields for the first time. The park is always bustling with residents, and is often the location for community
   events. Tito Molino, of the West End Community Development Council, expressed that the success of this project
   has been a source of pride for the community. "If people feel they have some input and control on a project like this,"
   Molino explained, "that plants a seed for the future."

   Site Reuses Tailored to Community Needs

   The Clearwater Brownfields Assessment Pilot target area, with approximately 220 potentially contaminated commercial,
   industrial, and residential properties located on more than 1,800 acres, has the distinction of being the first state-
   certified brownfields area in Florida.  Among Clearwater 's many successful brownfields restoration projects is the
   site of a former gas station that was transformed into a free health clinic to serve the residents of North Greenwood,
   the largest minority community in the city as well as one of the poorest.

   Once EPA's Brownfields Pilot had performed assessments on the property, the State of Florida provided $200,000 for
                           cleanup of underground storage tanks and contaminated soil. Another $320,000 from the
                                state paid for construction of the new facility. Representatives of North Greenwood
                                  participated in redevelopment planning and voted unanimously for the city to lease
                                    the property for use as a non-profit clinic.  North Greenwood residents  now
                                     have the Greenwood Community Health Resource Center, a free health facility
                                     offering immunizations, physicals, tests and screenings, flu shots, and health
                                     counseling services.

                                     Significantly Boosting the Local Economy

                                     Once a premier coastal port of the Pacific Northwest, the Thea Foss waterway
                                     in Tacoma, Washington, had become dilapidated and underused due to
                                     contamination from its past maritime activities.  In 1991,  the Tacoma  City
                                     Council moved to acquire 27 acres of this contaminated land.  Later, 15
The Greenwood Community Health Resource
     Center in Clearwater, Florida.
Brownfields Success Story
                                               Solid Waste
                                               and Emergency Response (5105)
          October 2003
www. epa.gov/brownfields/

   additional acres were purchased.  By 1995, Tacoma had completed its investigations and plans for removing
   contamination from the city-owned waterway, but sources of funding for redevelopment remained uncertain. The
   city used its EPA Brownfields Pilot to help create the Thea Foss Waterway Public Development Authority (PDA),
   and to assist in generating a revitalization strategy. Ultimately, the Brownfields Pilot helped
   Tacoma to leverage the initial $63 million in redevelopment funding, the majority of
   which came from private sources.

   That financing resulted in the Museum of Glass International Center for Contemporary
   Art, which is seen as the first step in an overall waterfront renewal plan devised by
   the PDA.  Inspired by Tacoma native and renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly, the
   museum's distinctive, four-story cone now serves as a landmark for those entering
   the city. The 1.6-acre property consists of an exhibition space, a cafe, five outdoor
   installations, a gift  shop, a "hot shop" where the public can view the process of glass
   blowing and cutting, and public access to the waterfront. The Pacific Northwest is the
   heart of glass country in the United States, and the museum appears to be a perfect fit.
                                  The Chihuly Bridge of Glass seen from
                                   a distance in Tacoma, Washington.
   The Brownfields Pilot also assisted Tacoma in leveraging an additional $6 million for the Chihuly Bridge of Glass,
   which was designed by Dale Chihuly and which opened with the museum in July 2002. Spanning 500 feet over 1-705
   and a rail line, the bridge connects the waterfront with downtown Tacoma and offers pedestrians access to newly
   redeveloped areas along the Thea Foss Waterway, showcasing exotic displays of Chihuly glass artwork along the way.

   Museum marketers initially questioned whether anyone would come to Tacoma, a city with a reputation as Seattle's
   poor, blue-collar cousin.  However, both the museum and the bridge were an instant success. Within the first six
   months more than 185,000 visitors came to the museum, contributing $17 million to the local economy; tourism
   agencies in nearby cities cannot keep up with the demand of people that want to travel to Tacoma.  The museum and
   bridge have been called "an explosion of color" by The New York Times and "spectacular" by  The Los Angeles
   Times.  Adjacent to the Glass Museum, a new, $40 million, mixed-use development has been completed, and a $20
   million, mixed-use renovation is nearing completion, both on former brownfields. Yet another, $60 million, mixed-use
   development that will feature a new hotel is expected to be completed in 2005. Through the efforts of the city and
   EPA, and with significant private-sector financial support, Tacoma has been able to turn the shore of the Thea Foss
   into a residential, commercial, and cultural public esplanade.

   Sustaining the Philosophy of EPA's Brownfields Program

   Success breeds continued success, and as the Brownfields Program builds
   sustainable redevelopment models, future projects have examples to follow.
   The Program's philosophy is to reflect a model of environmental protection
   that creates economically viable, environmentally sound, self-sustaining
   communities.  Ensuring  that brownfields redevelopment choices are
   sustainable is an essential component of that philosophy.  By ensuring
   that reuses are environmentally sound while providing local residents
   with the greatest possible benefit, the Brownfields Program will continue
   to improve the quality of life in neighborhoods across the country and
   prevent the creation of future brownfields.
                              To find out more about
                             sustainable brownfields
                            redevelopment, visit EPA's
                              Brownfields web site at
                         or call EPA's Office of Brownfields
                          Cleanup and Redevelopment at
                                 (202) 566-2777.
Brownfields Success Story
Solid Waste
and Emergency Response (5105)
          October 2003
www. epa.gov/brownfields/