Benefits of Community Engagement
- Strengthened community and agency relationships and partnerships.
- Enhanced protectiveness of site remedies through coordination of remedy and reuse.
- Long-term stewardship of sites by local partners.
- Reduced site stigma through education and outreach.
- Opportunity for reduced cleanup and remedy maintenance costs.
SRI Community Support in Action
Since its inception, the Superfund Redevelopment Initiative has recognized the vital role played by Superfund communities in informing the cleanup process and returning formerly contaminated lands to productive and beneficial use.
Over time, SRI has relied on different approaches to provide communities with opportunities to plan for the future use of local Superfund sites. Cooperative agreements between EPA and communities, for example, have provided financial assistance to local governments to support reuse-related activities.
Today, SRI works closely with EPA’s ten regions to identify Superfund sites that can benefit from reuse-related engagement and assistance. At these sites, SRI provides initial investments that help move sites toward reuse. As reuse efforts gain momentum, communities leverage these investments – local governments, organizations and other site stakeholders sustain redevelopment opportunities with additional public and private-sector resources.
SRI recognizes that there is no one-size-fits-all strategy for diverse communities and sites. The list below presents several important areas where SRI is seeking to make a difference for all stakeholders involved in the cleanup and reuse of contaminated lands.
Removing Barriers to Reuse
SRI helps to remove barriers and encourages the appropriate reuse of sites. Tools and strategies include issuing Ready for Reuse (RfR) determinations, clarifying site information and building partnerships.
SRI’s reuse planning process enhances community engagement during Superfund cleanups by proactively including communities in the decision-making process. Learn more about the reuse planning process and view example reuse plans on the Site-Specific Reuse Support page.
The Revitalization Handbook - Revitalizing Contaminated Lands: Addressing Liability Concerns discusses potential liability associated with cleanup and reuse of Superfund sites and shares tools that may be available to address these liability concerns.
For local governments considering the reuse of contaminated properties, please see the Process for Risk Evaluation, Property Analysis and Reuse Decisions.
Safe and appropriate Superfund site reuse supports community health and well-being. Reuses include new and accessible healthcare services to meet community needs, as well as recreational amenities that promote healthy lifestyles, such as athletic fields, walking trails, parks, playgrounds and open space.
- Healthcare Uses at Superfund Sites: Providing Access, Restoring Communities (PDF) (3 pp, 2.6MB)
- Recreation: Supporting Healthy, Fun Activities
Renewable Energy and Green Remediation
SRI supports the exploration of opportunities for renewable energy to power site cleanups and supply energy to the electrical power grid.
SRI provides assistance to communities as they build their long-term capacities, identifying redevelopment resources, bringing diverse stakeholders to the table, and addressing site stigma through education and outreach.
Superfund Redevelopment Pilots
As part of the Superfund Redevelopment Program (SRI), EPA developed a Pilot Program to help local governments participate in the cleanup and reuse of Superfund sites. Under the Pilot Program, EPA provided or sought to have potentially responsible parties provide, up to $100,000 in financial assistance and/or services to local governments for specified activities to help determine the future use of their sites. Learn More...