Land revitalization activities at formerly contaminated sites can help to promote sustainable redevelopment through refinements to existing enforcement policies and the use of green building and greenspace designs in property redevelopment and reuse. EPA's Land Revitalization Initiative is also helping to promote sustainability through a variety of efforts across EPA, and through partnership with other organizations. The following list provides links to and explanations of a number of EPA programs that focus on sustainable revitalization.
EPA Sustainable Revitalization Activities and Initiatives
- Historic Highways Project
Route 66 and the Lincoln Highway are littered with crumbling and abandoned gas stations. The goal of the Historic Highways Project is to bring new life to these abandoned properties by restoring them as playgrounds, convenience stores, and other beneficial uses. EPA Region 7 is partnering with our states and other agencies on this important project, and will be posting our progress as we go.
- Green Buildings
The design, construction, operation, maintenance, and removal of buildings takes enormous amounts of energy, water, and materials, and generates large quantities of waste, air, and water pollution, as well as creating stormwater runoff and heat islands.
- The Green Buildings on Brownfields Initiative
This Initiative is an EPA effort designed to promote the use of green building techniques at brownfield properties in conjunction with assessment and cleanup. Through several pilot projects, EPA is providing communities with technical assistance to facilitate the development of green buildings on their brownfields.
The Environmentally Responsible Redevelopment and Reuse (ER3) Initiative is an initiative led by the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assistance that uses Agency-wide incentives (including enforcement incentives) to promote sustainable redevelopment of formerly contaminated sites.
- Urban Rivers Projects
The Urban Rivers Project pilots emphasize partnerships among many organizations promoting freshwater wetlands restoration and brownfields revitalization.
- Smart Growth
Through EPA's Smart Growth Program, EPA is helping states and municipalities better understand the impacts of development patterns. "Smart Growth" seeks to preserve greenfields and encourages infill development where pre-existing infrastructure supports reuse.
- Environmental Justice
Environmental Justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. The Office of Environmental Justice (OEJ) at EPA works with all stakeholders to constructively and collaboratively address environmental and public health issues and concerns.
Sustainable Revitalization Partnerships and External Resources
- Sustainable Management Approaches and Revitalization Tools electronic
SMARTe is a joint effort of the U.S.-German Bilateral Working Group, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Interstate Technology Regulatory Council (ITRC) Brownfields Team. The tool, which is still being developed, is intended to be used by brownfield project stakeholders for assessing both market and non-market costs and benefits of redevelopment options, clarifying both private and public financing options, evaluating and communicating environmental risks, and easing access to pertinent state-specific information related to specific projects.
- Wildlife Habitat Council
EPA has entered into a cooperative agreement with the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) to research, test, develop and demonstrate the ways and means that state and local governments, industry and community groups can use ecological enhancements to increase the rate at which contaminated lands, both private and public (state, tribal, and local), can be remediated and reused. Through this agreement, it has been found that a variety of reuses, including wildlife habitat enhancement, can be included as part of restoration designs.
- Groundwork USA
The Groundwork Trusts are independent, not-for-profit, environmental businesses that work with communities to improve their environment, economy, and quality of life through local action. With support from the EPA Brownfields Program and the National Park Service Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program, Groundwork USA helps people reuse brownfields for community benefit. Because the goal of most publicly funded programs is to reuse brownfields for economic development, many brownfields sites are being left behind because they are too small, surrounded by blight, or located in areas with other constraints, such as flood plains or dense residential neighborhoods.