Assessing And Cleaning Up Petroleum Brownfield Sites
Managing a petroleum brownfield site requires specific technical expertise. A petroleum-contaminated site must first be investigated (assessed) to determine the nature and extent of the contamination. An assessment will guide how a site is to be cleaned up. The following section provides sources of information on tools that may be useful in the assessment and cleanup of petroleum-contaminated brownfields.
As much as possible, it is important to consider the reuse of a petroleum brownfield site when planning to clean it up. In several states the potential reuse of a site can affect the needed cleanup. Petroleum-contaminated sites that are to be cleaned up and reused for residential housing, for example, may require more stringent remediation than for a parking lot where contamination may be encapsulated and paved over.
The Assessment And Cleanup Process
Technical Information On Petroleum Assessments And Cleanups
Addressing Liability Issues
EPA Assessment And Cleanup Grants
State Petroleum Assessment And Cleanup Information And Grants
For a basic introduction to the steps involved in assessing and cleaning up contaminated sites, see the Toolbox for Cleanup and Redevelopment of Contaminated Sites in Small Cities and Rural Communities (29 pp, 3.9MB, About PDF) published by The Association of State and Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials.
The petroleum assessment and cleanup process varies by state. For petroleum brownfield site assessments and cleanups, the state regulatory authority is often the first place to seek information and assistance, and states maintain Web sites with this information.
In addition, some cities and counties have their own brownfields program and information - for example, Elkhart County, Indianastate regulatory authority has information on assessing and cleaning up sites available on its Web site. Technical information on assessing and cleaning up petroleum-contaminated sites is also available on EPA's Web site.
Cleaning Up Underground Storage Tank Sites
This site answers questions and lists many sources of technical information for assessing and cleaning up petroleum-contaminated sites.
EPA Brownfields: Tools and Technical Information
This site lists information on assessing and cleaning up brownfield sites.
Sustainability And Petroleum Brownfields
This site discusses incorporating green remediation and green building practices into the cleanup and reuse of petroleum sites.
Addressing Liability Issues
- Regional Determinations Regarding Which Sites Are Not "Eligible Response Sites" Under CERCLA Section 101(41)(C)(i), As Added By The Small Business Liability Relief And Brownfields Revitalization Act (PDF) (11 pp, 384K, About PDF)
- Interim Enforcement Discretion Guidance Regarding Contiguous Property Owners (PDF) (11 pp, 88K, About PDF)
- Interim Guidance Regarding Criteria Landowners Must Meet In Order To Qualify For Bona Fide Prospective Purchaser, Contiguous Property Owner, Or Innocent Landowner Limitations On CERCLA Liability (PDF) (22 pp, 366K , About PDF)
Each year, EPA awards Brownfields grants to local governments, states, tribes, and non-profit organizations to assess and clean up brownfields, including those impacted by petroleum contamination.
Some petroleum-contaminated properties may not qualify for the EPA Brownfields grants because they are considered high-priority leaking underground storage tank sites. To determine if a leaking underground storage tank site is eligible for EPA Brownfield grants, it may be necessary to request a determination of eligibility from the state petroleum regulatory authority regarding low-risk priority petroleum-contaminated or suspected sites. Several states have provided guidance on their eligibility determinations, for example:
Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. 2008.
Draft Brownfield Cleanup Program Guide (PDF) (59 pp, 182K, About PDF)
New York Division of Environmental Remediation. 2004.
VADEQ - Guidance Memo No. 05-2015 EPA Brownfields Grant Eligibility Review for Petroleum Contaminated Sites (PDF) (17 pp, 286K, About PDF)
Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. 2005.
Many states also have programs and resources that provide technical and financial assistance for the assessment and remediation of petroleum sites. A good place to look for information is the state regulatory authority Web sites.
To learn about the reuses of cleaned up petroleum brownfield sites, see Reusing Cleaned Up Petroleum Sites.