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Region 7 Land Revitalization Resources

Region 7 Land Revitalization 

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Community Actions that Drive Brownfields Redevelopment: Steps that will help communities with brownfields move sites into redevelopment.

Assessment Grants: Assessment grants provide funding for a grant recipient to inventory, characterize, assess and conduct planning and community involvement related to brownfields sites.

Cleanup Grants: Cleanup grants provide funding for a grant recipient to carry out cleanup activities at brownfields sites.

Multipurpose (MP) Grants: Multipurpose grants provide funding to carry out a range of eligible assessment and cleanup activities with a proposed target area such as a neighborhood, a number of neighboring towns, a district, a corridor, a shared planning area, or a census tract.

Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Grants (EWDJT)Environmental workforce development and job training grants are designed to provide funding to eligible entities, including nonprofit organizations, to recruit, train and place predominantly low-income and minority, unemployed and under-employed residents of solid and hazardous waste-impacted communities with the skills needed to secure full-time, sustainable employment in the environmental field and in the assessment and cleanup work taking place in their community.

Training, Research and Technical Assistance Grants: These grants provide funding to eligible organizations to provide training, research and technical assistance to facilitate brownfields revitalization.

Hazardous Materials Training and Research Institute (HMTRI):ExitThe Hazardous Materials Training and Research Institute (HMTRI), part of Eastern Iowa Community Colleges, is an environmental health and safety education and training organization. HMTRI promotes environmental worker health and safety and the maintenance of a clean and safe environment through education and training. HMTRI also offers and promotes educational opportunities, partnerships, and training programs related to brownfields cleanup and redevelopment.

Contaminated Site Cleanup Information (CLU-IN): The CLU-IN website provides information about innovative treatment and site characterization technologies to the hazardous waste remediation community. It describes programs, organizations, publications, and other tools for federal and state personnel, consulting engineers, technology developers and vendors, remediation contractors, researchers, community groups, and individual citizens.

Brownfields and Land Revitalization Technology Support Center (BTSC): Decision-makers involved with preparing brownfields sites for productive reuse often require technical and legal assistance to fully understand the complexities of investigating and cleaning up contaminated sites. EPA created the BTSC in 1998 to help decision-makers evaluate strategies to streamline the site investigation and cleanup process; identify and review information about complex technology options; evaluate contractor capabilities and recommendations; and explain complex technologies to communities.

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Direct Technical Assistance

Targeted Brownfields Assessments (TBA): EPA contractor conducts Phase I/II environmental site assessments, risk assessments, and develops cleanup options and cost estimates based on potential future use.

Technical Assistance to Brownfields Communities (TAB):ExitThe TAB program provides technical assistance to communities and other stakeholders on brownfields issues, with the goal of increasing the community's understanding and involvement in brownfields cleanup and revitalization and helping to move brownfields sites forward toward cleanup and reuse. The TAB grantees funded by EPA serve as an independent resource, assisting communities with community involvement; better understanding the health impacts of brownfield sites; science and technology relating to brownfields site assessment, remediation, and site preparation activities; brownfields finance questions; information on integrated approaches to brownfields cleanup and redevelopment; facilitating stakeholder involvement; identifying sources of brownfields assessment and cleanup funding; understanding and complying with state brownfields and voluntary cleanup program requirements; and facilitating redevelopment activities.

Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA):ExitThe CDFA Brownfields Technical Assistance Program is made possible by a grant from EPA and is intended to provide technical assistance and resources on brownfields redevelopment financing. CDFA is a national association dedicated to the advancement of development finance concerns and interests.

Groundwork USA:ExitGroundwork USA is a national organization the engages local businesses, residents, and government officials to revitalize neighborhoods and transform community liabilities into community assets. They have a network of 20 local Trusts based in small “legacy” cities, underserved neighborhoods within larger cities, and rural communities – all frequently overlooked by funders and policymakers.

RE-Powering America’s Land: Offers mapping and screening tools, solar and wind decision trees, feasibility studies and fact sheets. This website provides information on siting renewable energy on potentially contaminated lands, landfills, and mine sites.

Public Infrastructure Coordination Assessment and Planning Tool: Intended to assist communities in identifying opportu­nities to leverage investments across systems by taking a more coordinated approach to infrastructure management. It builds on the principles and best practices in public infrastructure Asset Management (AM) and can be used by communi­ties to assess progress and consider the benefits of a coordinated, cross-system, cross-department, or city-wide AM approach.

EPA Environmental Finance Center:ExitThe Environmental Finance Center (EFC), housed within Wichita State University's Hugo Wall School of Public Affairs, is one of 10 university-based centers across the country that provides communities with professional training, technical assistance, and applied research to equip officials in making sound financial and environmental decisions.

Brownfields Roadmap: The Brownfields Roadmap breaks down brownfields site investigation and cleanup into an easy to understand, step-by-step process.

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Smart Growth

Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities: One- to two-day, targeted technical assistance to give communities tools to implement smart growth development approaches. Eligible applicants are tribal, county and local governments, and nonprofit organizations that have the support of the local government on whose behalf they are applying.

Cool & Connected: Helps rural communities use broadband service to revitalize main streets and promote economic development. Any community representative can apply.

Governors' Institute on Community Design: Helps governors help their states develop in an environmentally and economically sound way. States are eligible to apply.

Greening America's Communities: Helps cities and towns envision and implement design strategies for more sustainable communities. Starting in 2018, the program serves communities in partnership with the EPA Office of Water's Stormwater Management Program.

Healthy Places for Healthy People: Helps communities create walkable, healthy, economically vibrant places by engaging with their health care facility partners, such as community health centers (including Federally Qualified Health Centers), nonprofit hospitals, and other health care facilities. Eligible applicants include local government representatives, health care facilities, local health departments, nonprofit organizations, tribes, and others proposing to work in a neighborhood, town or city anywhere in the U.S.

Local Foods, Local Places: Helps communities develop and implement action plans that promote local foods and downtown revitalization. Representatives of communities anywhere in the U.S. are eligible to apply.

Smart Growth Implementation Assistance: Works with public-sector entities that want to incorporate smart growth techniques into their development. Starting in 2015, EPA's regional staff identifies and selects communities to assist.

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Superfund Redevelopment InitiativeThis initiative is a nationally coordinated effort to ensure that EPA and its partners have an effective process and the necessary tools and information to return Superfund hazardous waste sites to productive use.

Local Beneficial Effects Case Studies: Using a site-specific approach, these studies gather information focused on reuse, employment and other beneficial effects. They can obtain detailed information about economic benefits for every company present on a site, in addition to unique economic benefits provided by particular uses, such as alternative energy. The studies are on EPA’s Superfund Redevelopment Initiative website, which also provides summary information about Superfund sites that have been reused.

Environmental Justice

Small Grants Program: The Environmental Justice Small Grants Program supports and empowers communities working on solutions to local environmental and public health issues. The program is designed to help communities understand and address exposure to multiple environmental harms and risks. Environmental Justice Small Grants fund projects up to $30,000, depending on the availability of funds in a given year. All projects are associated with at least one qualified environmental statute.

Environmental Education (EE) Grants: Under the Environmental Education Grants Program, EPA seeks grant proposals from eligible applicants to support environmental education projects that promote environmental awareness and stewardship and help provide people with the skills to take responsible actions to protect the environment. This grant program provides financial support for projects that design, demonstrate, and/or disseminate environmental education practices, methods or techniques.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)

ATSDR Brownfields/Land Reuse Health Program:ExitCommunity health considerations are important parts of ATSDR’s land revitalization activities. As such, through its Land Reuse Health Program, ATSDR works to conduct the following activities: promote a well-rounded approach to redevelopment; include health as an important part of redevelopment; grow community resources to promote health; measure changes in community health; encourage early community involvement in decision-making; restore and revitalize communities in a way that is fair to all community groups; promote relationships among agencies, partners and communities; and improve ways to talk about health and environmental risks.

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EPA Office of Brownfields and Land Revitalization

Land Revitalization Technical Assistance: EPA's Land Revitalization (LR) Program uses contractor support to provide direct technical assistance to communities who wish to incorporate sustainable and equitable approaches to their locally-driven land revitalization projects. The program encourages communities to redevelop and reuse previously contaminated properties sustainably, maximizing beneficial economic, ecological and social uses, and ensuring protection of human health and the environment. EPA's LR work supports the development and use of innovative and sustainable approaches and tools for revitalization, promoting these practices as standards by which communities approach the assessment, cleanup and reuse of brownfield properties.
More information about LR Technical Assistance is available on these EPA pages:

Land Revitalization Program Tools for Communities: This fact sheet highlights some of the tools that have resulted from the regional community-based projects undertaken with assistance from EPA's Land Revitalization Program. These useful tools can be adapted for use in other communities. A primary goal of the program is enhancing community revitalization by promoting the sustainable reuse of formerly contaminated properties. The Land Revitalization Program offers contractor assistance for small projects to support innovative, community-based land revitalization efforts with a goal to enhance the sustainability of a community’s redevelopment efforts.

PREPARED Workbook: Guides local decision-makers through a step-by-step process for determining how to facilitate reuse of contaminated properties by considering acquisition and non-acquisition property recovery actions. While intended primarily for use by municipalities, the workbook also can be used by states, counties, tribes, and quasi-governmental entities. It also includes user-friendly worksheets to help document and guide the property transaction and redevelopment process.

Community Reuse Property Prioritization Tool: Designed to help communities prioritize properties based on a specific reuse plan. The tool also supports communi­ties in developing a low-level inventory that can be used to prioritize brownfields for future assessment, cleanup and redevelopment by capturing information that will help estimate the complexity of such activities. This tool, which includes a Handbook and Excel Workbook, can help a community better understand property characteristics, ownership, environmental conditions, cleanup requirements, and reuse planning to make more informed decisions.

Brownfields Stakeholder Forum Kit: Designed to help communities design, plan and conduct forums that bring together groups of stakeholders to focus on a brownfields project. The kit walks users through a process for planning stakeholder forums that have a clear purpose and strategically conceived agenda, and are well-designed to solicit the participation and involvement of key stakeholders. The kit includes a list of planning activities; tips for choosing speakers and a facilitator; model agenda; suggestions for handouts and visuals; lists of potential stakeholder groups to invite; and pointers on forum logistics, including managing registrations, room layouts, and audio visual equipment.

Brownfield Revitalization in Climate-Vulnerable Areas: Drafted by EPA’s technical assistance team, this report outlines nationally applicable examples of relevant regulatory standards, incentives, and guidelines for communities to consider as they update their zoning and subdivision regulations.

On the Road to Reuse: Residential Demolition Bid Specification Development Tool: Helps users anticipate environmental issues and concerns with demolition, so they can factor them into the planning and procurement process. The tool also provides guidance for developing contract language for bid packages that instructs contractors on specific technical requirements to achieve improved environmental results in a demolition project.

Deconstruction Rapid Assessment ToolEnables organizations to triage building stock slated for demolition by generating a dataset that can help prioritize structures for deconstruction and salvage. Deconstruction is a way to systematically dismantle a structure to recover materials for reuse or recycling. Local governments or organizations with active demolition programs have an opportunity to promote environmental stewardship and economic revitalization through deconstruction.

Urban Farm Business Plan HandbookProvides guidance for developing a business plan for the startup and operation of an urban farm. It focuses on food and non-food related cultivated agriculture. The information provided is applicable regardless of whether the farm is to be operated as a nonprofit or for-profit business.

Urban Farm Business Plan Worksheets: Provide a framework in which to compile and organize the information needed to draft a business plan.

Brownfields and Urban Agriculture: Interim Guidelines for Safe Gardening Practices: Provide a process and set of recommendations for developing agricultural reuse projects on sites with an environmental history.

Aquaponics Business Plan User Guide: This page includes the User Guide, as well as its supporting worksheets. As with a cultivated agriculture urban farm, an urban aquaponics farm can be established as non-profit, community, or neighborhood-based urban farm or for-profit urban farm business. In either case, it is important for those establishing an urban aquaponics farm to develop a plan for its start-up and operation.

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Sustainable Materials Management Tools

The built environment touches all aspects of our lives, encompassing the buildings we live in, the distribution systems that provide us with water and electricity, and the roads, bridges and transportation systems we use to get from place to place. Creating all these spaces and systems requires enormous quantities of materials.

Sustainable Materials Management is the use and reuse of materials in the most productive and sustainable way over their entire life cycles and it can help the nation address its material and resource needs in the built environment while remaining competitive in the global economy. Builders, construction teams and design practitioners can use the following tools and resources to learn how to divert construction and demolition (C&D) materials from disposal by buying used and recycled products, practicing source reduction, preserving existing structures through deconstruction, as well as salvaging and reusing existing materials.

Organizations Working to Reduce the Disposal of C&D Materials: This sortable table is a great place to start, if you are looking for organizations with available resources and services related to reducing, reducing and recycling construction and demolition (C&D) materials.

Fact Sheets on Designing for the Disassembly and Deconstruction of Buildings: This series of fact sheets highlights the innovative approaches, results, and environmental and economic benefits resulting from EPA-initiated pilot projects that may be replicated across various sectors, industries, communities and regions.

Deconstruction Manuals for C&D Projects: These manuals provide guidance on designing buildings to facilitate deconstruction and deconstructing buildings to reduce the disposal of reusable construction and demolition (C&D) materials.

Large-Scale Residential Demolition: If you are a local government or community planning to renovate or demolish residential buildings on a large scale, this website provides guides for deconstruction and demolition and tools for development of Demolition Bid Specifications and Deconstruction Assessments.

Managing Your Environmental Responsibilities: A Planning Guide for Construction and Development: Use this guide to fulfill your environmental obligations in every step of your construction project, including pre-bid, pre-construction and during construction.

Deconstruction Rapid Assessment Tool: This tool assists in prioritizing structures for deconstruction and salvage, and allows managers to make critical decisions in allocating time and resources.

Reuse and Recycling Opportunities and Demolition: This page provides a list of specific building materials that tend to carry reuse value and make good candidates for salvage.

Incentives for Deconstruction:ExitThe City of Seattle developed an Expedited Deconstruction Permit as one type of incentive.

Abandoned Mobile Homes Toolkit: This EPA toolkit demonstrates the recovery of the many valuable resources typically contained within an abandoned unit. It includes videos that demonstrate the step-by-step process for mobile home deconstruction, a reconstruction project demonstration using recovered resources as well as a best management practices resource guide, assessment guide checklists, and additional resources.

Toolkit for Community Involvement and Demolition:ExitThe Building American Cities Toolkit™ was developed by the Center for Community Progress to help practitioners think through strategies, identify specific tools to carry out those strategies, and learn about communities elsewhere that have used those tools to improve the land, buildings, neighborhoods, and other areas that make up a city’s built environment.

Construction and Demolition Management Tools:ExitThe Construction Materials Recycling Association (CMRA) has developed several tools to assist contractors and developers divert materials from construction and demolition projects. These tools include master specifications for waste management and recycling, including planning documents and reporting forms for both new construction and demolition projects.

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Legal Tools

Comfort/Status Letters: EPA may issue comfort/status letters to address the following: status of a site; future anticipated actions at a site; available liability protections; reasonable steps that a purchaser should take to stop any ongoing releases and prevent future releases at sites where EPA has this information; and status of EPA liens.

Ready for Reuse (RfR) Determinations at Superfund Sites: EPA may issue an RfR Determination to affirm that a site’s conditions are protective of human health and the environment for specific types of uses.

BFPP “Doing Work” Agreements: EPA may enter into a settlement agreement with a bona fide prospective purchaser (BFPP) who wishes to perform part or all of a cleanup. The agreement provides for EPA oversight and may satisfy part or all of any windfall lien.

Lien Settlements: EPA is willing to enter into negotiations and settlement agreements to resolve lien issues and facilitate reuse.

Discussions: EPA Regional experts are available to talk or meet with prospective purchasers, sellers, lenders, and other stakeholders to discuss the issues critical to the successful purchase and reuse of a Superfund site. Providing examples of other Superfund sites that were successfully redeveloped and are now in reuse can also reassure local citizens and stakeholders about revitalization opportunities.

Partial Deletions: While total cleanup of a site may take many years, many sites on EPA’s National Priorities List (NPL) include portions that have been cleaned up and may be available for productive use. These portions may be partially deleted from the NPL if EPA makes a determination that no further cleanup work is required, the state concurs, and necessary institutional controls are in place. Any person, including individuals, businesses, entities, states, local governments, and other federal agencies, may submit a petition requesting a partial deletion. EPA will evaluate the request and make a determination whether to proceed. A partial deletion of a portion of a Superfund site from the NPL can help to increase the site’s marketability. PLEASE NOTE: EPA Superfund liens may still apply to the deleted parcel. More information on partial deletions is available on EPA's NPL Deletion Guidance and Policy page.

More information about many of the tools listed above is available on these EPA pages:

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