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Reusing Cleaned Up Petroleum Sites

Petroleum brownfield sites are being cleaned up and reused for many different purposes across the U.S. Some old abandoned gas station sites are now the locations for new businesses and new affordable housing. This section provides numerous examples of how petroleum brownfields are being reused and offers ideas for petroleum brownfields reuse.

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.

Reuse Success Stories Organized By Type Of Reuse

This section provides success stories for petroleum brownfields organized according to how a site is reused, such as for housing, commercial and business, public, or environmental and recreational reuse. Each success story includes a wealth of information on how the project was conducted, which can help others undertake and complete similar projects.

Housing Reuse
Commercial And Business Reuse
Public Reuse
Environmental And Recreational Reuse

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Resources For The Reuse Of Petroleum Brownfields

The publications below provide numerous examples of how petroleum brownfield sites can be reused for housing, businesses, parks, and many other uses. These publications also include information on the redevelopment process and on resources for petroleum brownfields.

Opportunities For Petroleum Brownfields (EPA 510-R-11-002). July 2011.

Petroleum Brownfields: Selecting A Reuse Option (EPA 510-R-09-004). October 2009.

Brownfields State Of The States: An End-of-Session Review Of Initiatives And Program Impacts In The 50 States (PDF) Exit EPA Disclaimer (113 pp, 388K, About PDF)
Northeast-Midwest Institute. 2002. Fifth Edition.

Guide for Identifying and Converting High-Potential Petroleum Brownfield Sites to Alternative Fuel Stations (PDF) Exit EPA Disclaimer (38 pp, 2.6MB, About PDF). Prepared by the U.S. Department of Energy National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in partnership with EPA for the RE-Powering America's Land Initiative: Siting Renewable Energy on Potentially Contaminated Land and Mine Sites. 2011.

The petroleum brownfield process varies by state. For petroleum brownfields, the state regulatory authority is often the first place to seek information and assistance, and most of them maintain websites with this information.

The EPA Brownfields Program awards grants for petroleum brownfields, and this website contains information on other resources for brownfield projects.

Financial Resources

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Housing Reuse

There are numerous examples of how petroleum-contaminated property has been cleaned up and reused for affordable housing, assisted living, public housing, and private residences.


Indianapolis, IN
Live-Work Residences: Former Gas Stations Transformed into Vibrant Live-Work Residences (PDF) Exit EPA Disclaimer (1 pg, 53K, About PDF)


Worcester, MA
Affordable Housing: Gardner-Kilby-Hammond (GKH) Revitalization Project

South Carolina

Greenville, SC
Housing for Homeless: Coordinating Resources From Two EPA Programs Maximizes Effectiveness (PDF) (3 pp, 162K, About PDF)
EPA-560-F-239.   March 2008.


Salt Lake City, UT
Affordable Housing: Engaging Communities in Healthy Living Through Revitalization: Jefferson School Apartments Phase II (PDF) (1 pg, 90K, About PDF)


Swanton, VT
Duplex: Habitat for Humanity Sees a Former Gas Station as a Perfect Fit for Residential Reuse (PDF) (1 pg, 103K, About PDF)
EPA-560-F-08-304.  October 2008.


Arlington, VA
Planned Community: Prime D.C. Suburban Property Back on the Map

Washington, DC

Camp Simms Military Reservation
Residential Subdivisions: From Rifles to Residential

The Jefferson
Condominiums: D.C.'s Voluntary Cleanup Program Transforms Defunct Land into Fine Living/Retail Space

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Commercial And Business Reuse

Petroleum-contaminated properties are being cleaned up and reused for all sorts of businesses large and small. Small businesses find old gas station sites a perfect fit for a new fast food restaurant, bank, or pharmacy. Larger developments have occurred on larger properties or where smaller properties have been combined.

Opportunities For Small Businesses

Larger Businesses


Lewiston, ME
Business Park: Bates Mill
Former Civil War Textile Mill is Given New Economic Life with the Help of $775,000 in Funding from the EPA

Former Mill Complex Redeveloped for Light Industrial Use (PDF) (1 pg, 141K, About PDF)
EPA 500-F-08-294.  September 2008.


Baltimore, MD
Business Center: Green Theme Story [Green Buildings] (PDF) (4 pp, 691K, About PDF)
EPA 500-F-03-249.  October 2003.


New Bedford, MA
Industrial Park: Success in EPA-Conducted Targeted Brownfields Assessments


Dallas, TX
Community Revitalization: Victory Park (PDF) (2 pp, 179K, About PDF)


Roanoke, VA
Biotechnology Hub: Roanoke's Industrial Core Gets Economic Transplant As Biotechnology Hub

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Public Reuse

Local, state, and federal governments have been leaders in the cleanup and reuse of brownfield properties. Because old, abandoned gas stations are found in many communities, governments often find these sites to be excellent locations for new facilities, such as firehouses, police stations, education centers, government services offices, and parking lots.


East Hartford, CT
Educational Facilities: Brownfields Success in New England: Goodwin College Riverfront Campus (PDF) (1 pg, 510K, About PDF)

New Haven, CT
Family Center: "r" Kids Family Center


Clearwater, FL
Community Health Resource Center: Improving Public Health in Brownfields Communities (PDF) (4 pp, 188K, About PDF)
EP-560-F-07-253.   January 2008.


Shreveport, LA
Convention Center: A Brownfields Intervention Results in the New Shreveport Convention Center (PDF) (1 pg, 92K, About PDF)
EPA-560-F-07-213.  June 2007.


Worcester, MA
Boys and Girls Club: Gardner-Kilby-Hammond (GKH) Revitalization Project

New Hampshire

New Ipswich, NH
Town Offices and Police Station: Seppala and Aho: Success in Assessment Demonstration Pilot Program

New Mexico

Santa Fe, NM
Santa Fe Railyard (PDF) (1 pg, 112K, About PDF)


Reno, NV
Events Center: Reno's New Events Center is a Major Venue for Downtown Entertainment (PDF) (1 pg, 87K, About PDF)
EPA-560-F-06-226.  August 2006.

Rhode Island

Providence, RI
Save The Bay Education Center: Save the Bay Center


Dallas, TX
Community Revitalization: Victory Park (PDF) (2 pp, 179K, About PDF)

Houston, TX
Federal Government Building: Federal Reserve Bank Building (PDF) (1 pg, 99K, About PDF)


Bristol, VA
Library: Building a Library on Bristol's Blue Grass Roots

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Environmental And Recreational Reuse

Petroleum-contaminated properties are being cleaned up and reused in ways that both enhance the environment and enrich community living. A cleaned up petroleum site can make a major contribution to cleaner water in rivers and harbors and provide recreational facilities for the local community, as these success stories describe.


New London, CT
Waterfront Boardwalk: Success in EPA-Conducted Targeted Brownfields Assessments

Norwich, CT
Riverfront Park: Brownfields Success in New England: Occum Park (PDF) (1 pg, 364K, About PDF)


Fitchburg, MA
Riverfront Park: Rubber Factory Contaminated Site Becomes an Urban Oasis


Bluefield, VA
Flood Control: Flood Control in Bluefield, Va. Leads to Cleanup and Greenway Development


To learn more about petroleum brownfields, see:
Success Stories And Best Practices
Opportunities For Small Businesses
Financial Resources
Public/Private Partnerships

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