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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.

Equitable Redevelopment of Petroleum Brownfields for Zuni Pueblo and Other Tribal Communities, shows how to apply smart growth and economic development principles to redevelop petroleum brownfields sites. This step-by-step guide provides useful insight on area-wide planning, land use policy, site cleanup, and funding. May 2013.

Opportunities For Petroleum Brownfields (PDF) (56 pp, 1.0MB, About PDF) (EPA 510-R-11-002). July 2011.

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

Recycling America's Gas Stations: The Value And Promise Of Revitalizing Petroleum Contaminated Properties Exit EPA Disclaimer
Northeast-Midwest Institute and the National Association of Local Government Environmental Professionals. 2002.

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.

A Primer For Petroleum Brownfields: What Can Your Community Do To Revitalize UST Sites? (PDF) Exit EPA Disclaimer (20 pp, 4.3MB, About PDF)
Northeast-Midwest Institute and National Association of Local Government Environmental Professionals. 2003.

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.


Houston, TX
Artists Lofts: Transforming Brownfields Using EPA Petroleum Funding (PDF) (4 pp, 80K, About PDF)
EPA-560-F-06-248.  October 2006.


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


Seattle, WA
Affordable Housing: Brownfields Success Stories in Washington State (PDF) Exit EPA Disclaimer (2 pp, 228K, About PDF)
(see Rainier Court, bottom of page 1)

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


De Pere, WI
Townhouses: C.A. Lawton (PDF) Exit EPA Disclaimer (2 pp, 119K, About PDF)

Kenosha, WI
Residential and Recreational: Kenosha Harbor Redevelopment (PDF) Exit EPA Disclaimer (2 pp, 126K, About PDF)

Middleton, WI
Condominiums: Middleton Redevelopment (PDF) Exit EPA Disclaimer (2 pp, 131K, About PDF)

Oshkosh, WI
University Housing: Radford Village (PDF) Exit EPA Disclaimer (2 pp, 106K, About PDF)

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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.


Gila River Indian Community
Diabetes Center: USTfields Pilot and Brownfields Grants at St. John Mission Site (PDF) Exit EPA Disclaimer (54 pp, 5.4MB, About PDF)
(see page 24)


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.

North Carolina

Fayetteville, NC
Museum: A Salute to the Armed Forces in Fayetteville (PDF) (2 pp, 347K, About PDF)
EPA 500-F-03-017.  May 2003.


Prineville, OR
Local Government Offices: Transforming Brownfields Using EPA Petroleum Funding (PDF) (4 pp, 80K, About PDF)
EPA-560-F-06-248.   October 2006.
Features Houston, TX, Prineville, OR and Signal Hill, CA.

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


Rosalia, WA
Visitors Center: Brownfields Success Stories in Washington State (PDF) Exit EPA Disclaimer (2 pp, 228K, About PDF)
(see Visitors Center, top of page 2)


Amery, WI
Fire Station: Amery Fire Station (PDF) Exit EPA Disclaimer (2 pp, 91K, About PDF)

Baraboo, WI
City Services Center: City Services Center (PDF) Exit EPA Disclaimer (2 pp, 106K, About PDF)

Crandon, WI
Public Parking Lot: Lipman Gifts (PDF) Exit EPA Disclaimer (2 pp, 118K, About PDF)

Deforest, WI
Public Safety Building: DeForest Parks Automotive (PDF) Exit EPA Disclaimer (2 pp, 211K, About PDF)

Milwaukee, WI
Amtrak Railroad Station: Amtrak Railroad Station (PDF) Exit EPA Disclaimer (2 pp, 177K, About PDF)

Seymour, WI
Veterans Memorial Park: Veterans Memorial Park (PDF) Exit EPA Disclaimer (2 pp, 73K, About PDF)

Waunakee, WI
Village Community Center: Waunakee Stokely Canning (PDF) Exit EPA Disclaimer (2 pp, 121K, About PDF)

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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


Green Bay, WI
Lodge and Waterpark: Tundra Lodge (PDF) Exit EPA Disclaimer (2 pp, 124K, About PDF)

Oshkosh, WI
Riverside Park and Amphitheater: Riverside Park/Leach Amphitheater (PDF) Exit EPA Disclaimer (2 pp, 150K, About PDF)

Sheboygan, WI
Harbor Resort: Sheboygan Harbor Center (PDF) Exit EPA Disclaimer (2 pp, 178K, About PDF)


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

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