Re-energizing Contaminated Land: Alternative Energy Reuse at Superfund Sites
Exploring Alternative Energy Opportunities at Superfund Sites
SRI and the Regions have begun to help site stakeholders explore alternative energy opportunities through reuse planning processes and pre-feasibility energy analyses. Sites that have completed renewable energy assessments include:
Renewable energy resources – wind, solar, biomass and geothermal energy – are non-polluting, inexhaustible and increasingly cost-competitive. Alternative energy resources include renewable energy production as well as other energy sources, such as converting methane gas produced during natural decomposition of wastes into an electricity source. Superfund sites can be well suited for alternative energy production. Sites in urban and rural areas near utilities and transportation networks help keep development costs low.
Alternative energy resources can help communities create jobs and diversify local economies. They are also are an important part of America’s energy security and environmental sustainability. Nationwide, there are at least 55 Superfund sites in planned or actual alternative energy reuse; several of these sites are also using renewable energy technologies as part of green remediation strategies for site cleanups. SRI can help communities reclaim and reuse contaminated lands for a wide range of purposes, including alternative and renewable energy.
This webpage captures alternative energy activities at Superfund sites where the Agency has historically or is currently supporting reuse activities. For information about additional sites supporting or seeking to support alternative energy, visit:
- Biomass, Geothermal, Solar and Wind Programs: These U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) programs offer general information, research, funding and technical assistance.
- Clean Energy Programs: These EPA programs provide information and technical assistance on clean energy technologies, green power resources and state and local programs.
- Environmentally Responsible Redevelopment and Reuse (ER3) Initiative – EPA initiative focused on the sustainable cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated sites.
- Green Power and Renewable Energy: This EPA effort provides information on green power and renewable energy.
- Innovative Redevelopment at Superfund Sites: Supporting Healthy, Sustainable and Equitable Communities (PDF) (10 pp, 6.9MB, About PDF): This fact sheet series highlights innovative projects at Superfund sites that are supporting healthy, sustainable and equitable communities.
- Landfill Methane Outreach Program: EPA’s Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP) is a voluntary assistance program that helps to reduce methane emissions from landfills by encouraging the recovery and beneficial use of landfill gas (LFG) as an energy resource. For more information see EPA's 2011 Superfund Landfill Methane-to-Energy Pilot Project (PDF) (143 pp, 7.5MB, About PDF).
- Renewable Energy at Mining Sites: EPA’s Abandoned Mine Lands Team (AMLT) has actively provided communities with technical support and resources to explore innovative reuse opportunities available at former mine lands.
- Renewable Energy Program: This EPA and DOE program provides links to state-level renewable energy incentive sheets and maps highlighting contaminated lands with the potential capacity to support renewable energy-related land uses.
- RE-Powering America’s Lands Initiative: This federal initiative identifies the renewable energy potential of formerly contaminated areas, including Superfund sites, and provides other useful resources for communities, developers, industry, state and local governments, and others interested in reusing these sites for renewable energy development.
- State and Local Climate and Energy Program: This program provides resources to state and local government on renewable energy topics.
- Technology Innovation and Field Services Division (TIFSD) Green Remediation Focus: TIFSD’s CLU-IN website provides information and case studies on EPA’s green remediation efforts.
Alternative Energy Reuse Examples
Boyle Galvanizing (not NPL), Philadelphia, PA
Methane Gas to Energy Sites
Central Landfill, Johnston, RI
H.O.D. Landfill, Antioch, IL
Lexington County Landfill Area, Cayce, SC
Lowry Landfill, Aurora, CO
Modern Sanitation Landfill, Lower Windsor Township, PA
Omega Hills North Landfill, Germantown, WI
Pine Bend Sanitary Landfill. Grove Heights, MN
Sauk County Landfill, Excelsior, WI
Southside Sanitary Landfill, Indianapolis, IN
Aerojet General, Rancho Cordova, CA
Apache Powder, Saint David, AZ
Chevron Questa Mine, Questa, NM
Frontier Fertilizer, Davis, CA
Fruit Avenue Plume, Albuquerque, NM
GE-Housatonic River, Pittsfield, MA
North Carolina State University (Lot 86, Farm Unit #1), Raleigh, NC
Pemaco Maywood, Maywood, CA
Rockwell International Corp. (PDF) (12 pp, 7.0MB, About PDF), Allegan, MI
For additional information about alternative energy projects on potentially contaminated lands, landfills and mine sites, please visit RE-Powering America’s Land.