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Superfund


   

Basic Information

More Information on the Superfund Redevelopment Program
Superfund Reuse Success Stories

For Reuse Success Stories click on the pictures below.

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Cannon Engineering Corporation - Bridgewater, MA

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Kane & Lombard Street Drums - Balitmore, MD

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Wheeling Disposal Service Company Landfill - Amazonio, MO

The Program
Building on Superfund Reforms
Superfund Redevelopment Pilots
Removing Reuse Barriers
Reviewing Policies
Building Partnerships
Sharing Lessons Learned
Measuring Outcomes

The Program

Superfund Redevelopment operates as a nationally coordinated effort to ensure that at every Superfund site, EPA and its partners have an effective process and the necessary tools and information needed to return the country’s most hazardous sites to productive use. EPA focuses on two fundamental areas to facilitate that outcome: (1) exploring future uses before the cleanup remedy is implemented; an approach that gives the Agency the best chance of designing cleanup remedies to support likely future use of a site; and (2) working with communities to remove barriers not considered necessary for the protection of human health or the environment at those sites where remedies are already in place.

Since its inception, Superfund Redevelopment has helped communities reclaim and reuse thousands of acres of formerly contaminated land. Through an array of tools, partnerships, and activities, Superfund Redevelopment continues to provide local communities with new opportunities to grow and prosper. Towns and villages around the country are recovering idle properties and returning them to productive use.

Further information can be found in the 2013 Superfund Redevelopment Brochure (PDF) (20 pp, 11.2MB, About PDF). Additional site reuse success highlights can be found in the 2011 Superfund Redevelopment Brochure (PDF) (21 pp, 1.4MB, About PDF).

Building on Superfund Reforms

In 1993, EPA announced reforms for its Superfund Program which addressed concerns expressed by affected members of the public. These reforms fundamentally changed Superfund. Through partnerships with states, tribes, other federal agencies, local governments, communities, land owners, lenders, developers, and parties held potentially responsible for contamination, EPA has improved the cleanup process. Cleanups are being done faster without compromise to the principle that those responsible for pollution are held accountable.

Superfund Redevelopment builds on the work of these Superfund reforms. Through the program, EPA serves as an active partner in helping to return sites to productive uses. A result of this partnership approach is that local governments, communities, developers, and other interested stakeholders, are rethinking the value of Superfund sites, and are now more likely to consider them for a variety of post-cleanup uses. In addition, cleanups that support reuse do so without compromising cleanup standards. The Agency's mission remains the protection of human health and the environment, and Superfund Redevelopment complements that commitment.

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Superfund Redevelopment Pilots EPA no longer updates the information at this link, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.

As part of Superfund Redevelopment, EPA developed a Pilot Program to help local governments participate in the cleanup and reuse of Superfund sites. Through a pilot-project approach, EPA provided eligible local governments with up to $100,000 in funds or facilitation services for reuse assessment and public outreach to help determine their site's future use. . Between 1999 and 2002, EPA selected over 70 communities to receive Pilot funding or assistance. Selected Pilots were offered several types of program assistance including funding through a cooperative agreement, access to facilitation services, and the availability of experts under the Intergovernmental Personnel Act. Browse additional information on these pilot sites.

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Removing Reuse Barriers

Superfund Redevelopment initially began with the goal of working with local stakeholders and partners at cleanup sites so that EPA could consider likely future uses of sites before cleanup remedies were selected. However, by focusing on sites where remedies were not yet implemented, program activities were not affecting the many communities that have vacant sites where construction of the remedy was already complete. EPA developed the Return to Use (RTU) Initiative to remove barriers to appropriate reuse at the hundreds of Superfund sites where cleanup has been completed. A focus of RTU has been on establishing partnerships with communities and other stakeholders to address potential obstacles to reuse. Through site-specific partnerships, referred to as demonstration projects, EPA is working with key stakeholders at RTU sites to identify potential reuse barriers and appropriate solutions for those obstacles. Learn more about the Return to Use Initiative.

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Reviewing Policies

EPA continues to look at its policies and guidelines to determine where changes can be made to further enable successful and effective site reuse outcomes. Changes include revising existing guidance and policy documents (or developing new ones) in areas such as: measuring reuse outcomes; undertaking reuse assessments; incorporating reuse ideas into remedy selections; using Technical Assistance Grants, facilitation techniques, and Cooperative Agreements to support reuse activities; and using Inter-Governmental Personnel Agreements to provide reuse advisors.

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Building Partnerships

Partnerships between EPA, states, tribes, other federal agencies, local governments, communities, land owners, lenders, developers, and parties that are potentially responsible for contamination have proven to be a critical factor in the reuse and revitalization of Superfund sites. EPA will continue to build partnerships with states, tribes, and local governments, and will identify roles for federal agencies with economic and community development programs. EPA continues to explore partnerships with states and private sector organizations and to pursue opportunities to share information about methods available to foster site reuse, such as those that clarify liability issues for lenders and developers, or protect them from liability for pollution they did not create.

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Sharing Lessons Learned

The support and knowledge made available through Superfund Redevelopment activities is only useful if the parties who need it are aware it exists and if they understand its effectiveness. The lessons learned from an analysis of Superfund sites that are being returned to productive use can be applied at other Superfund sites. EPA will continue to share information about reuse activities and outcomes at Superfund sites, about the economic impacts and benefits from the reuse of sites, about potential partners in redevelopment, about tools and resources available, and about the reuse potential of specific sites. By sharing this information, EPA and its partners can continue to work to facilitate the return of the country's most hazardous sites to productive use.

Superfund Redevelopment will continue to gather and share lessons learned through various forms and approaches, including:

  • Publicizing redevelopment successes through case studies and fact sheets that will illustrate reuse options and the lessons that have been learned through pilots and other reuse projects.
  • Analyzing and documenting the economic impacts and the environmental and social benefits of site reuse.
  • Working with communities to find partners who will help them redevelop Superfund sites in their neighborhoods.
  • Making this information available to the public through meetings, outreach, partnership activities, and this Web site.
  • Identifying and documenting sites that are available for reuse.

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Measuring Outcomes

EPA places a high priority on land revitalization as an integral part of its Superfund cleanup mission. The Agency's policies have increasingly addressed the issue of making Superfund sites protective for current and future users. To date, hundreds of communities have reclaimed formerly contaminated Superfund sites for protective ecological, recreational, industrial, military, commercial, residential, or other productive uses.

To communicate reuse-related information and accomplishments pertaining to sites ready for their current or reasonably anticpated future land uses, Superfund, in coordination with the Federal Facilities Restoration and Reuse Office, developed a new performance measure to measure for construction complete sites called Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use. This performance measure provides a consistent framework to identify, evaluate, document, and report accomplishments at Superfund sites, and establishes guidelines for documenting revitalized sites and acres that meet key measures of performance. Learn more about EPA’s land reuse and revitalization performance measures.