United States
Environmental Protection
Community Actions that
Drive Brownfields Redevelopment

The U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) developed this
guide to help communities with brownfields to
more successfully address community revitalization
and brownfields-related challenges. It outlines concrete actions
communities can take to address these challenges. Attracting public
or private investment for the reuse of brownfield properties can bring
economic and social benefits to communities, in addition to improving
environmental conditions.
This publication was developed by EPA's Office of Brownfields and
Land Revitalization, which is part of the Office of Land and Emergency
Management (OLEM). Environmental Management Support, Inc.,
and subcontractor Sustainable Strategies DC provided assistance
with the drafting and final preparation of this document under Contract
For more information, please contact:
Office of Brownfields and Land Revitalization
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW(5105T)
Washington, DC 20460

Table of Contents
Foreword	2
Acknowledgments	2
How can my community best position itself to successfully reuse our brownfields site?	4
5 Steps for Successful Brownfield Redevelopment	5
Step 1: Lead with stakeholder involvement that empowers the local community to become
redevelopment champions	6
Step 2: Create a reuse vision that is exciting and realistic	7
Step 3: Remove barriers to brownfield redevelopment	8
Step 4: Engage developers and end-users	10
Step 5: Complete site preparations and close the deal	11
What have others done?	12
Carlisle, Pennsylvania	12
Huntington, West Virginia	13
Toledo, Ohio	14
Where can I get more information or assistance?	15
EPA Brownfields Grants and Direct Technical Assistance	15
Competitive Grants	15
Non-Competitive Grants	15
Technical Assistance	16
Other Resources	16

Communities struggle to find solutions to idle properties that have no viable prospects for
redevelopment. Many are brownfields that are environmentally contaminated—or potentially
contaminated—due to past uses at the property
Revitalizing brownfields provides new economic and social benefits to communities, in addition to
improving environmental conditions.
Reusing stagnant brownfield sites requires special attention. In communities with weak economic or
market conditions, socioeconomic barriers, or other challenges, brownfields can remain idle for years.
Still, a local community can take several actions even at the most challenging sites to best position
brownfields for successful reuse.
How can my community best
position itself to successfully reuse our
brownfield site?
Your community can create the necessary conditions to attract
private or public investment to your brownfield site by:
~ Understanding development opportunities and constraints,
~ Answering key questions about ownership status,
environmental conditions and viable future uses of the property.
There are several actions your community can take to prepare
a site for investment and to see it through the redevelopment
process. Each action is intended to reduce the uncertainties
inherent in the development process, where uncertainty translates
as risk. Each action generally falls into one of five steps. Address
these five steps to help reduce uncertainty about the site and
help minimize financial risk.
Keep in mind-every project is different, so
adjust as necessary. Your community may
have already started or completed some of
these steps, may not require all actions, or
may take actions in a different order.
Brownfields are properties
that are or may be
contaminated with
hazardous substances,
pollutants, petroleum or
other contaminants that
pose a barrier to productive
reuse. Brownfields often are
in struggling neighborhoods
and areas with blight,
deteriorated infrastructure, or
other challenges.

Two questions to get started:
~	Do you understand brownfields and the brownfield redevelopment process?
Learn about brownfields and the brownfield redevelopment process. Conduct research and gather
information about the brownfield sites, the surrounding neighborhood, and existing infrastructure. Start
identifying the people and organizations that have an interest and stake in what happens at the site.
~	What is your overall game plan?
What is your general timeline for redevelopment? Where can you build in flexibility throughout the
redevelopment process?
5 Steps for
Step 2
Create a reuse vision that is
exciting and realistic.
With the support of community stakeholder
create ambitious and exciting goals for
brownfields revitalization. Set appropriate
expectations by ensuring the resulting vision
realistically considers the opportunities for
and constraints to redevelopment.
Step 4
Engage developers and end-users.
Engage potential developers, tenants,
institutions, foundations, and potential end
users who may be interested in acquiring the
property or investing in the redevelopment.
Step 1
Lead with stakeholder involvement
that empowers the local community
to become redevelopment
Engage with the property owner,
community organizations and nonprofit
leaders, public officials and business
leaders. Identify potential opportunities for
and constraints to redevelopment. Work
with stakeholders to identify necessary
resources and identify champions.
Step 3
Remove barriers to brownfield
Identify development opportunities
and potential constraints, such as site
environmental conditions, necessary
infrastructure improvements, and land use
restrictions. Identify necessary funding
sources and other resource needs to
address each constraint and remove
redevelopment barriers.
Step 5
Complete site preparations
and close the deal.
Finalize the remediation and development
strategy. Implement the remedy.
Incorporate sustainability principles to
minimize environmental and public health
impacts. Establish a long-term plan for
property management. Market the property
widely. Put shovels in the ground.
Determine where your community needs to start. Build momentum by first tackling the actions that
are achievable in the near-term and build on each success!

Encourage key community stakeholders to lead revitalization efforts from the start.
Keys to Success
~	Get the backing of affected and interested residents within the community and crucial supporters such as
anchor institutions, nonprofit organizations and community foundations.
~	Involve institutions and foundations such as universities, youth groups, the Chamber of Commerce and
placed-based foundations,
~	Develop a full understanding of the site, the market for development and constraints to development.
How can my community do this?
Engage a broad cross-section of the community to
support the redevelopment evaluation and initial
visioning effort. Engage the property owner, key
public officials, community leaders, business owners,
and others in the community to oversee and support
the site reuse assessment and planning process.
Conduct a site reuse assessment and a land use
assessment to identify constraints and potential
opportunities for site reuse. Fully evaluate site
characteristics, conditions and applicable regulations
to identify potential reuses for the property once it
is remediated. If information on the environmental
condition of the site is not available or has not been
developed, conduct a Phase I environmental site
assessment to identify potential environmental
Conduct a market study and share market
conditions for the site. Match the site reuse
assessment with market information. Conduct a
market study early in the process to help community
stakeholders and local government leadership
understand the reuse options that can be supported
by the local and regional market.
Address socioeconomic issues and neighborhood
challenges. Look at the social, community health,
environmental and economic issues that affect
the area or neighborhood and try to understand
underlying causes (e.g., educational opportunities,
housing conditions). Identify actions that will improve
these conditions: do not ignore them. Determine if and
how the redevelopment of each brownfield site can
directly address or help mitigate these challenges.

Create a site reuse vision that is exciting
and realistic.
An appealing and flexible site reuse vision can spur investment and inspire solutions at sites that otherwise
might remain vacant for even longer.
Keys to Success
~	Work with the property owner to understand their expectations for redevelopment.
~	Calibrate the owner's and community members' expectations to align with the market conditions and other
site realities uncovered during the site reuse assessment. This is particularly important at sites where
the owners mothballed the property for long periods of time or may have unrealistic expectations about
property value.
~	Develop a redevelopment concept plan to illustrate the vision and potential reuse for the site.
How can my community do this?
Balance ambition with attainability when creating
the reuse vision. Developers, investors, and funders
are much more likely to get involved in a brownfield
project if they understand the community's vision
for the property and are confident that the local
government will provide the support necessary to
achieve the redevelopment goals.
Work closely with your community to identify
reuse priorities. Ensure neighborhood residents
who are most affected by the potential redevelopment
are included in your planning activities and have an
equitable voice in creating the reuse vision.
Prepare drawings and renderings that present
reuse alternatives and concepts. Visualize how
the proposed redevelopment will look. Use these
materials to promote your community's site reuse
vision alternatives for the area and attract support
from potential funders, investors and developers and
end-users. Create a briefing sheet that summarizes
your plan and distribute it widely.1
For projects that require significant private
investment, a conceptual reuse vision typically
is preferable unless (or until) a master
developer is identified.
For projects with primarily public funding,
a more detailed and formal vision can be
1 See example of a briefing sheet on pp. 31-33 of Setting
the Stage for Leveraging Resources for Browntields
Increase support for your revitalization vision
within the neighborhood, the nearby community
and the local government Build momentum for
revitalization by demonstrating the project's viability
with a strong site reuse vision, a plan for overcoming
barriers, and good visual materials that effectively
convey that vision and plan. Whenever possible,
engage with community institutions and foundations.
Keep residents of nearby neighborhoods and
community groups informed and involved in each
step. If redevelopment will be privately led, make sure
the affected community is interested and involved.
Moon Township Waterfront Master Plan
Credit: Stromberg Garrigan & Associates


Typically, developers must meet permitting and ordinance requirements such as building codes, zoning
restrictions, and height and location restrictions. Many of these requirements include obtaining approvals from
various government entities. Developers also may need to meet additional requirements imposed by lenders to
secure financing. Often, these administrative hurdles are easier to address when building on an undeveloped
greenfield than they are when redeveloping a potentially contaminated brownfield.
Keys to Success
~	Address environmental and infrastructure issues.
~	Expedite the zoning, regulatory, permitting and approvals for expected reuses.
~	Create the brownfields revitalization plan.
~	Work to make the site as "shovel-ready" as possible.
~	Develop a site disposition strategy.
How con my community do this?
Address environmental contamination. Define
and address contamination issues.2 If you have
not already done so, perform a Phase I and Phase
II environmental site assessments to determine
whether environmental contamination exists. If so,
characterize and quantify the risk from contamination.
Once the nature and extent of contamination and
the desired end uses are known, work with state or
tribal government officials to develop a plan to clean
up the site. Research whether previous insurance
policies exist for the sites, which could potentially
provide resources for remediation. If purchasing the
site, ensure you have the appropriate environmental
liability exemption or defense. Consider whether
purchasing environmental insurance can help with
risk transfer.
2 Consider whether brownfields resources from U.S. EPA or
working with vour state's environmental aaencv can support
these efforts.
Brownfield sites are more appealing to
investors when the locality paves the way for
Create a clear landing pad for developers and
end-users by having a realistic reuse vision
and site approvals in place.
Address infrastructure issues. Actions to improve
infrastructure will boost the prospects for brownfield
revitalization. Identify where infrastructure is an asset
and where existing infrastructure may be incompatible
with site reuse plans. Partner with state and federal
agencies, financing entities, and the private sector to
design and build improvements to these systems. Pay
attention to necessary water infrastructure upgrades
and broadband infrastructure expansion.

Many brownfields are already located near
established roads, train lines, ports or other
infrastructure. Such locations provide an
advantage over undeveloped greenfields.
However, the existing infrastructure may need
to be upgraded to support desired reuses.
Expedite titling, zoning, regulatory and land use
approvals whenever possible. Identify land use
regulations such as zoning, building codes and other
regulatory or permitting issues related to the proposed
site reuse. If regulatory or permitting requirements
present barriers to redevelopment, determine which
can be addressed now or in the near term. Assign
staff to coordinate consideration of any zoning,
permitting and local approval issues before local
boards and commissions. Proactively reach out to
regional, state and federal government approving
authorities to inform them about your community's
brownfields reuse vision and plan and answer their
Pull the vision together with a brownfield
revitalization plan. Develop a planning document
that articulates and illustrates goals for site
reuse, addresses land use regulations, outlines
site improvements needed, and includes an
implementation strategy to guide the redevelopment.
Lead with public investment and leverage
additional funding. Separate major infrastructure
and site preparation projects into smaller individual
projects. Identify discrete actions that will accomplish
each smaller project. Identify potential funding
sources for each component.
Look for leveraging opportunities. Start by listing and
estimating costs for environmental assessment and
cleanup, infrastructure upgrades, vertical construction,
and other stages of development. One way to do this
is by creating a Resource Roadmap.3
Demonstrate local government commitment to the
project by investing public resources in the project.
Wise use of available local government resources
often leads to leveraged investment from other
Develop a site disposition strategy. Decide whether
and how to transfer ownership of the property in a
way that provides value to both the seller and the
buyer (e.g., such as property sale, ground lease,
lease with option-to-purchase, etc.).
3 Also see an example of a Resource Roadmap on pages
28-30 of EPA's Setting the Stage for Leveraging Resources
for Brownfields Redevelopment.
Leveraging: Using existing resources or
funding to attract additional resources or
funding for your project.
Resource Roadmap: A chart showing
redevelopment priorities, key projects and
components, estimated costs and funding and
support needed for each, along with potential
sources of funding for match and leveraging,
and key next steps.


Engage developers
and end-users.
Communicate frequently with potential developers, tenants and end-users. Provide regular updates on the site
reuse vision to increase and monitor potential interest from private investors and non-profit stakeholders.
Keys to Success
~	Maximize flexibility by assembling properties when necessary.
~	Several viable redevelopment scenarios will help attract the market to the site.
~	Market your reuse vision and gauge potential interest from developers
How can my community do this?
If necessary, assemble properties. Sometimes a
brownfield property is not viable unless combined with
adjacent properties. Reasons for this include type or
size of the site needed for the desired reuse, limited
site access, or improvement of surrounding blighted
conditions. Your municipal economic development
authority or land bank can help by acquiring,
assembling, and preparing sites for transfer back to
the private sector for redevelopment.
Create market interest, particularly when local
market conditions are weak. Your community's
efforts to market the site can create "buzz" and
generate interest from potential tenants or other
end-users. Further reduce risk for potential
investors by eliminating remaining uncertainties to
specific to the brownfields, such as knowledge of
environmental conditions, land use restrictions, public
or neighborhood resistance to change.
Issue a request for expressions of interest from
developers and investors. Your community can
gauge the potential redevelopment interest in vour
property by requesting preliminary, nonbinding
statements of interest. This process allows your
community to engage potential redevelopers, discuss
what is needed to achieve the overall reuse vision,
and chart a path toward reuse.

Complete site preparations
and close the deal.
Finalize your pians for completing site preparations and managing any ongoing environmental issues. Make
the site as "shovel ready" as possible.
Keys to Success
~	Keep the community informed about progress involving site remediation and redevelopment plans.
Properly explain and manage engineering and institutional controls for the site.
~	Market the site and reuse vision at every opportunity, even after the deal is closed.
How can my community do this?
Finalize a remediation and development strategy.
Map out the various projects that must be completed
and develop the timelines necessary to complete
the redevelopment. Incorporate greener cleanup
principles to minimize environmental and public health
impacts. Follow the redevelopment plan and keep the
public informed as the project progresses.
Establish a long-term plan for property
management. Maintain remedial systems and follow
institutional controls to ensure long-term stewardship
of the site. A well-managed property will set the stage
for future investments and associated long-term
quality of life improvements in the project area.
Continue to market the site and communicate
your reuse vision. Never stop building enthusiasm
for your vision. Provide regular updates to the
community. Generate support by hosting community
events on-site or nearby to draw interest. Once a
developer is on board and the sale of the property
is closed, continue to have stakeholders champion
the goals of the reuse vision and continue to
communication through local networks.
Nothing succeeds like success, so when
your brownfield site redevelopment is
complete he sure to...
Celebrate Success!
Celebrate your successes, big and small Reflect
with your community on what it took to move that
brownfield site out of "stuck' status and into opportunity.
~	Celebrate groundbreakings and ribbon-cuttings.
~	Thank key supporters and keep them involved.
~	Continue outreach through media and social
Community celebrations can get the word out, drive
the market, attract investors, and build momentum
for revitalization of the brownfield site and the
surrounding neighborhood.


What have others done?
Examples abound throughout the country where
communities have addressed brownfield challenges
through the actions that make up these five steps.
In 2017, the Borough of Carlisle began construction on affordable workforce
housing and greenspace at the 12-acre former Carlisle Tire & Wheel site.
Work also began on a residential/retail/office complex and park at the 48-acre
former International Automotive Components and Masland Carpet site. These
sites are two of the three key brownfields slated for redevelopment in Carlisle's
northwest neighborhood.
The redevelopment of these sites was envisioned in Carlisle's 2013 Urban
Redevelopment Pian, which was created with the aid of EPA brownfields
grant funds. The Borough engaged the Carlisle community extensively
throughout the process, beginning with a week-long planning and design
charrette. A series of additional workshops culminated with creation of a broad
redevelopment framework for a 68-acre brownfields area. The plan considered
market-based factors and identified the need to upgrade transportation and
stormwater infrastructure in the area. The Borough created a Resource
Roadmap to identify and navigate funding sources for specific projects,
and created a tax-increment funding (TIF) district to aid in major capital
Today, the project boasts continued strong public-private partnerships and
more than $27 million in funding leveraged from federal, state and local
sources. Another $640,000 came from philanthropic organizations. The
ambitious redevelopment demonstrates how Carlisle turned an environmental
challenge into opportunity for its residents by reimagining and repurposing
three of its largest industrial brownfields after manufacturing operations ceased
at all three sites between 2008 and 2010. The Borough continues to meet
regularly with the developers to ensure that the community's vision for the area
is maintained as the vision becomes reality.
I r
fSkSSL ? M

Huntington, West Virginia
The City of Huntington has suffered decline, poverty, and blight due to the loss
of manufacturing facilities and jobs that once fueled its economy Huntington's
neighborhoods were built around industrial plants. When the plants closed,
the city was left with numerous brownfields and hundreds of acres of vacant
industrial property.
The city took many actions to tackle the challenge of revitalizing its Ohio
River waterfront area. Huntington used EPA brownfields grant funds to work
with the community and other stakeholders to create a vision and develop an
area-wide plan and implementation strategy for the waterfront area, known
now as the Huntington Brownfields Innovation Zone (H-BIZ) Plan. The city
also used EPA brownfields grants to assess and plan for reuse at four closed
and contaminated manufacturing sites. These initial actions served as initial
steps toward preparing the properties for reuse and spurring revitalization.
Huntington then lined up sources of cleanup and site improvement funding
to support redevelopment implementation, using resources from an EPA
Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund grant and the state economic
development authority.
The city produced a market assessment, infrastructure upgrade plan, land
use design, and green infrastructure approaches and developed strategies
for leveraging funding and community support for its existing H-BIZ initiative.
This revitalization plan envisions transforming the project area into a hub of
economic revitalization that will include a sports center, riverfront recreation
and parks, associated mixed-use commercial and retail development, higher
education facilities and a center for advanced manufacturing and research.
Key partners working the city on this project include Marshall University the
West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, and the Huntington
Neighborhood Institute.

Toledo, Ohio
Local partners from Toledo worked together over several years to revitalize
the Overland Industrial and Cherry Street Legacy neighborhoods, located
just north of downtown Toledo along the 1-75 corridor. The area serves as the
key connection between the city's downtown and northern neighborhoods.
Constraints to redevelopment included numerous brownfields, a high
percentage of vacant parcels, difficult transportation access due to an
outdated street layout, and socioeconomic challenges including high poverty,
unemployment, and limited access to fresh food.
After the Toledo Jeep Plant closed in 2006 and was demolished, the
Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority purchased the property. They started
planning, assessment and cleanup activities using funds from EPA's
Brownfields Program and the state's Clean Ohio Program. Numerous
stakeholder engagements with key neighborhood partners and residents
combined with supporting market study data resulted in a realistic vision
for the area, with redevelopment concepts that included a mix of industrial,
commercial, and live/work spaces.
The team of local partners next developed strategies to implement the
redevelopment. They identified and leveraged support from public and
private sources for infrastructure upgrades, neighborhood improvements,
environmental site assessment and cleanup, business formation or expansion,
and public amenities. The city also addressed challenges such as small parcel
size and addressed potential zoning issues resulting from population decline
that had reduced the demand for housing in the area.
Upon final remediation closure efforts, the Port Authority made a $15
million investment to add necessary infrastructure and construct a
100,000-square-foot speculative building site. Major auto supplier firms now
occupy the property; their businesses are expanding with investments up to
$100 million and hundreds of new permanent jobs in the area.
courtesy of Vita Nuova, LLC

Where can I get more information or assistance?
EPA offers grants, technical assistance and other informational resources to help you. Visit the EPA website at
EPA Brownfields Grants and Direct Technical Assistance
EPA provides grants and technical assistance to local, state and tribal governments and nonprofit organizations.
Brownfields grants can catalyze significant brownfield activities at the local level, clean up and revitalize specific
sites, and help a community build a brownfields program. As of February 1, 2019, these investments have
leveraged $27,527 billion in cleanup and redevelopment funding from public and private sources and resulted in
the creation of over 144,800 jobs.
The following types of brownfields grants and technical assistance are available from EPA:
The 2018 Brownfields
Utilization, Investment
and Local Development
(BUILD) Act expanded the
definition of "eligible entity"
for EPA brownfields grants.
Non-profit organizations with
501 (c)(3) status are now
eligible to apply for any of
EPA's brownfields grants.
Competitive Grants
~	Brownfields Assessment: Grant to an eligible entity or a coalition
of eligible entities to investigate and assess brownfield properties,
and for cleanup planning at those sites. Applying for these grants
is often the first step a locality takes to launch a local brownfields
~	Brownfields Cleanup: Grant to an eligible entity for cleanup of
specific brownfield sites that are owned by the applicant.
~	Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund: Grant to an eligible entity to
capitalize an existing revolving loan fund to support brownfields
clean ups.
~	Brownfields Multipurpose: Grant to an eligible entity to inventory,
characterize, assess, plan for, or remediate one or more brownfield
sites within a target area.
~	Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training: Grant to an eligible entity to recruit, train, and
place unemployed and under-employed residents from brownfield areas, preparing them with environmental
job skills including proper management of hazardous and solid waste.
Non-Competitive Grants
~	State and Tribal Response Program - Annual grants awarded to states, tribes and territories to create
new or to enhance existing environmental response programs. The funding can be used to conduct
limited site assessments or cleanups at brownfield sites; perform other activities that increase the number
of response actions conducted or overseen by a state or tribal response program; capitalize revolving
loan funds for cleanup; purchase environmental insurance; or develop other insurance mechanisms for
brownfields cleanup activities.

Technical Assistance
~	Targeted Brownfields Assessment (TBA) support - EPA provides contractor resources to communities
to assess and characterize brownfields where the assessment of the property could spur redevelopment.
EPA generally provides TBA support to communities that do not already have an EPA brownfields
assessment grant.
~	Under the Technical Assistance to Brownfields Communities (TAB) program, three regional TAB
providers serve as independent resources and can provide expert technical assistance and guidance for
parties interested in acquiring, assessing, cleaning up and redeveloping brownfields properties. The TAB
program is funded by EPA and available to all stakeholders. EPA awarded TAB grants to three organizations
that provide technical support to brownfield sites in various EPA regions. These organizations include:
-	New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT): Serving EPA Regions 1, 3 and 4.
-	Kansas State University (KSU): Serving EPA Regions 5, 6, 7, 8 and tribal programs nationwide.
-	Center for Creative Land Recycling fCCLR): Serving EPA Regions 2, 4, 9 and 10.
~	Other organizations that provide specialized technical assistance for brownfields:
-	Council of Development Finance Agencies CCDFA).
-	Groundwork USA.
-	Hazardous Materials Training and Research Institute at Eastern Iowa Community College (HMTRI).
-	University of Louisville.
-	Kansas State University (Tribal Technical Assistance).
Other Resources
EPA has a variety of Brownfields and Land Revitalization publications, including guides, success stories, and
tools that communities can use to address specific brownfields-related issues and challenges. Here are just a
few. See the Land Revitalization website for a complete list.
201 7 Brownfields
Federal Programs Guide
Cleaning Up Brownfields
Under State Response Programs -
Getting to "No Further Action"
The Brownfields Federal Programs
Guide is a compendium of
resources available from other
federal agencies for brownfields
revitalization, including funding
available for related infrastructure
Cleaning Up Brownfields Under State
Response Programs — Getting to
No Further Action — is a guide on
entering a brownfield into a state
cleanup program and attaining a state
decision or certification of the need for
"no further action."
Setting the Stage for Leveraging
Resources for Brownfields
Revitalization is a guidebook
on leveraging resources for
brownfields revitalization, which
includes a template for preparing a
Resource Roadmap on page 28.
Setting, the Stage for Leveraging
Resources for Brownfields Revitalization
Office of Brownfields and Land Revitalization | EPA 560-R-19-002
June 2019 | www.epa.gov/brownfields/