Brownfields are real property - the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. Often the potential liability associated with contamination complicates business development, property transactions, or expansion on these properties.
Redevelopment of brownfields benefits the environment, the community, and industry by restoring underutilized or vacant property for productive use, which can increase property values, increase the local tax base, and create jobs. Brownfields redevelopment preserves "green" spaces both inside and outside of cities, mitigates public health and safety concerns, and improves community image.
Barriers to Brownfields Redevelopment
Almost every Kansas city and county, in both rural and urban areas, has brownfields properties. Despite the many advantages to redeveloping these properties, communities, municipalities, and private investors may encounter roadblocks:
Unknown environmental conditions or perceived environmental issues
Lack of funding for environmental assessments and/or cleanups
Concerns over liability
Lack of community support
Unfavorable neighborhood or market conditions
The Kansas Brownfields Program is here to provide assistance in overcoming these roadblocks and help these properties reach their full potential again. Communities can often encourage redevelopment activities on unused properties once it can be demonstrated a property is viable for redevelopment.
Brownfields Targeted Assessments
In addition to community outreach and technical assistance, the Kansas Brownfields Program, through a federal EPA grant, can conduct Brownfields Targeted Assessments (BTAs) at eligible properties. A BTA includes:
Phase I Environmental Assessment - including a background and historical investigation, preliminary site inspection, and asbestos and lead-based paint surveys, conducted in accordance with ASTM 1527-13 and NESHAP.
Phase II Environmental Assessment - including sampling activities to evaluate potential environmental impacts.