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Cleanups at Federal Facilities

Strengthening Brownfields Redevelopment

United States Environmental Protection Agency
Solid Waste and Emergency Response (5101)
November 1998
Federal Facilities Restoration and Reuse Office

EPA's Federal Facilities Restoration and Reuse Office (FFRRO) promotes faster, more effective, and less costly cleanup and reuse of federal facilities. While federal facilities do not receive funding under EPA's Brownfields Program, federal facilities and brownfields properties face similar challenges and must comply with the same environmental laws. Further, numerous federal facilities are located in urban areas in close proximity to brownfields properties. As such, it is imperative that EPA offices, other federal agencies, and brownfields stakeholders work together in an integrated fashion to meet our shared goals for economic renewal and community revitalization.

Because federal properties often encompass hundreds of acres and have large infrastructures, including office buildings and housing, their cleanup and reuse can play a pivotal role in economic development. When federal properties undergo successful redevelopment, they attract businesses, generate jobs, and serve as new locations for neighborhoods, parks, and schools. Such contributions can increase chances for sustainable reuse at neighboring brownfields.

Federal Agencies Accelerate Progress

Although state and federal programs may be in place to address local issues such as substandard housing, unemployment, and crime, too often these programs operate in isolation. The Interagency Working Group on Brownfields provides a forum for federal agencies to share information and technical expertise and develop collaborative strategies for accelerating progress. By leveraging resources, federal agencies advance the effectiveness of brownfields initiatives across the country. As participants in the Brownfields National Partnership Action Agenda, federal agencies are helping to foster better community planning, site assessment, cleanup, redevelopment support, and sustainable reuse.

Federal Agencies Lend a Hand

Much of the support federal agencies are lending to the Brownfields Initiative is in the form of information sharing. For example, the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Department of Energy (DOE), each of which is responsible for thousands of potentially contaminated sites, have volunteered to share their vast expertise in cleaning up properties so they may once again contribute to the welfare of local communities.

Among other things, DoD has agreed to coordinate economic adjustment initiatives in DoD-impacted communities that participate in brownfields pilots.

DOE is providing brownfields stakeholders with cleanup and site characterization assistance. DOE is also developing energy efficient redevelopment strategies and targeting selected grants toward municipal energy management projects and affordable housing.

The Army Corps of Engineers plans to work with states to prepare comprehensive plans for restoration of water resources at brownfields pilots.

FFRRO Takes Action

For its part, FFRRO shares successes and lessons learned from federal facility cleanups with the brownfields program and other federal agencies. FFRRO recently produced several brochures which describe how teamwork, innovation, and community involvement facilitate cleanup and reuse. Currently underway is an effort to widely distribute FFRRO's quarterly newsletter, Partners in Progress, and other outreach products to brownfields stakeholders. FFRRO is also working to identify more effective ways to promote collaboration between federal facility and brownfields stakeholders.

Learn How FFRRO Can Assist You

If you are involved in the cleanup or redevelopment of a brownfields property or federal facility, FFRRO can help you network with parties interested in leveraging resources and sharing information. We can help you identify nearby federal facilities or brownfields properties which face similar environmental or redevelopment challenges. Further, we can help you establish the partnerships you need to overcome such challenges and put property back into productive reuse.

To learn more, contact FFRRO's brownfields coordinator, Sean Flynn, at:

Federal Facilities Restoration and Reuse Office (5101)
401 M Street, SW
Washington, DC 20460

Phone: 202 260-3199
Fax: 202 260-5646