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Superfund Redevelopment Initiative

Redevelopment Economics at Superfund Sites

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Basic Information

An office building at the South Bay Asbestos siteBusinesses at the South Bay Asbestos Area site in California employ over 1,800 people and generate over $825 million in annual sales; site properties generate nearly $5 million in property tax revenues [2018].

For over three decades, EPA’s Superfund program and its partners have remediated contaminated hazardous waste sites and furthered community goals for reuse. Communities reuse Superfund sites in many ways – parks, shopping centers, athletic fields, wildlife sanctuaries, manufacturing facilities, residences, roads and more.

Many reuse outcomes can play a role in economically revitalizing a community. EPA measures the economic beneficial effects of reuse at Superfund sites by collecting the following types of information:

  • Number of businesses located on site.
  • Number of people employed at site businesses.
  • Annual employment income from on-site jobs.
  • Annual sales revenue generated by businesses on site.
  • On-site property value and property tax information.
  • Other economic impacts that are unique to specific sites.

SRI tracks these figures from year to year, to give a general overview of the national beneficial effects associated with Superfund redevelopment:

SRI compiles Regional Economic Profiles to track the economic effects and benefits to the community at a region-wide scale.

SRI writes Beneficial Effects Economic Case Studies that allow for a site-specific approach to gathering more complete information related to reuse, employment and other economic impacts.

EPA has created a brochure that highlights the Beneficial Effects of Site Reuse:

EPA has created a Superfund Redevelopment Economics Notebook that discusses various reuse economic tools:

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National Beneficial Effects

Innovative business owners and organizations reuse Superfund sites for a variety of purposes. Some uses can play a role in economically revitalizing a community. EPA has estimated the national economic beneficial effects of Superfund sites in reuse between 2011 and 2019. In 2019, 602 Superfund sites had available economic data, representing only a percentage of all sites in reuse and excludes sites at federal facilities. The remaining non-federal facility sites in reuse and continued use are not expected to have uses that support on-site businesses, provide jobs or generate sales revenue.

National economic totals increased across all categories between 2018 and 2019, primarily due to the collection of economic information at several sites with newly identified reuses. However, other independent economic factors, such as business conditions, impacted the 2019 national economic totals as well. 

Factors that contribute to changes in economic values from year to year include:

  • Increases in the number of sites in reuse.
  • Changes in the number of on-site businesses.
  • Additional efforts to collect more information on more sites, including large and complex sites.
  • Changes in the availability of data through online sources.
  • Independent economic factors.
                                                                           Estimates of National Beneficial Effects Since 2011
Year Sites in Reuse
with Economic

Number of

Jobs Annual
2011     135 271 $10.0 billion 24,308 $1.8 billion
2012     276 972 $22.2 billion 46,475 $3.7 billion
2013     363 2,216 $35.8 billion 70,270 $5.4 billion
2014     450 3,474 $34.0 billion 89,646 $6.5 billion
2015     454 3,908 $31.3 billion 108,445 $8.4 billion
2016     458 4,720 $36.2 billion 131,635 $9.8 billion
2017     487 6,622 $45.5 billion 156,352 $11.7 billion
2018     529 8,690 $53.4 billion 195,465 $13.6 billion
2019     602 9,188 $58.3 billion 208,468 $14.4 billion
*Adjusted to 2019 USD using the Consumer Price Index (CUUR0000SA0, not seasonally adjusted, U.S. city annual average).

Readily available internet and database sources are utilized to create estimates of national totals related to the beneficial effects of Superfund sites in reuse. Without more extensive research it is not always possible to identify all business names and addresses on site.

Jobs are not the only way communities benefit when Superfund sites are cleaned up. A 2009 report provides an overview of how cleaning up sites may benefit home prices:

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Regional Economic Profiles

Silos at Strother FieldBusinesses at the Strother Field Industrial Park site in Kansas employ over 1,300 people and generate over $128 million in annual sales; site properties generate over $350,000 in property tax revenues [2018].

SRI has developed regional economic profiles that tell a story about the role of Superfund in each EPA region and the beneficial effects of reusing formerly contaminated properties. These reports summarize economic data collected for Superfund sites within an EPA region. They also highlight successes and put them in the context of aggregated data within the state and EPA region.

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Beneficial Effects Economic Case Studies

A beneficial effects economic case study gathers more complete information related to reuse, employment and other beneficial effects. While national impact estimates may underestimate jobs, a local beneficial effects case study can obtain detailed information about economic benefits for every company present on the site, in addition to unique economic benefits provided by particular uses, such as alternative energy.

Each beneficial effects economic case study includes a technical appendix that provides an overview of the approaches, assumptions and methodologies used to obtain estimates on local beneficial effects.

Additional case studies can be found on the Superfund Redevelopment Case Studies page:

Site Name State Region Year
Abex Corporation (PDF)(8 pp, 267 K) Virginia 3 2011
Aidex Corporation (PDF)(7 pp, 899 K) Iowa 7 2015
Airco Plating Company (PDF)(9 pp, 1 MB) Florida 4 2016
American Cyanamid Co. (PDF)(15 pp, 3.2 MB) New Jersey 2 2018
Big River Mine Tailings/St. Joe Mineral Corp. (PDF) (429 pp, 12 MB) Missouri 7 2018
Benfield Industries (PDF) (7 pp, 365 K) North Carolina 4 2012
Blackburn & Union Privileges (PDF)(8 pp, 2.1 MB) Massachusetts 1 2019
BMI-Textron and Trans Circuits, Inc. (PDF) (10 pp, 509 K) Florida 4 2014
Boise Cascade/Onan Corp./Medtronics, Inc. (PDF) Minnesota 5 2017
Brunswick Naval Air Station (PDF)(28 pp, 3.7 MB) Maine 1 2019
Bunker Hill Mining and Metallurgical Complex (PDF)(172 pp, 8.9 MB) Idaho 10 2017
Calhoun Park Area (PDF)(17 pp, 1.8 MB) South Carolina 4 2014
California Gulch (PDF) (13 pp, 1.1 MB) Colorado 8 2014
Cherokee County (PDF)(234 pp, 9.1 MB) Kansas 7 2020
Coalinga Asbestos Mine (PDF)(21 pp, 1.3 MB) California 9 2015
Colorado Smelter (PDF)(46 pp, 3.8 MB) Colorado 8 2020
Davie Landfill (PDF) (57 pp, 1.2 MB) Florida 4 2014
Davisville Naval Construction Battalion Center (PDF)(31 pp, 4.4 MB) Rhode Island 1 2018
Del Amo (PDF)(44pp, 1.5 MB) California 9 2013
Denver Radium (PDF)(21 pp, 4.3 MB) Colorado 8 2019
Eastland Woolen Mill (PDF)(8 pp, 2 MB) Maine 1 2019
Ecosystem Services at Superfund Sites (PDF)(27 pp, 2.2 MB) Multiple Multiple 2017
E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., Inc. (Newport Pigment Plant Landfill) (PDF)(9 pp, 708 K) Delaware 3 2014
Flat Creek IMM (PDF)(30 pp, 2.8 MB) Montana 8 2019
FMC Corp. (Yakima Pit) (PDF) (7 pp, 772 K) Washington 10 2014
Fort Devens (PDF) (27 pp, 1.64 MB) Massachusetts 1 2018
General Electric Co./Shepherd Farm (PDF) (10 pp, 1 MB) North Carolina 4 2017
General Mills/Henkel Corp. (PDF) (11 pp, 877 K) Minnesota 5 2014
Goldisc Recordings, Inc. (PDF)(10 pp, 1.9 MB) New York 2 2015
Havertown PCP (PDF)(11 pp, 2.1 MB) Pennsylvania 3 2017
Highway 71/72 Refinery (PDF)(14 pp, 2.3 MB) Louisiana 6 2015
Industri-Plex (PDF) (21 pp, 1.6 MB) Massachusetts 1 2014
Iron Horse Park (PDF)(9 pp, 2 MB) Massachusetts 1 2017
Joslyn Manufacturing & Supply Co. (PDF)(12 pp, 670 K) Minnesota 5 2016
Kansas City Structural Steel (PDF)(9 pp, 2 MB) Kansas 7 2015
Kearsarge Metallurgical Corp. (PDF)(9 pp, 2 MB) New Hampshire 1 2016
Kennecott (South Zone) (PDF) Utah 8 2017
Koppers Coke (PDF) (10 pp, 612 K) Minnesota 5 2012
Lexington County Landfill (PDF) (8 pp, 784 K) South Carolina 4 2014
Liberty Industrial Finishing (PDF) (8 pp, 833 K) New York 2 2014
Lindsay Manufacturing Co. (PDF)(7 pp, 860 K) Nebraska 7 2017
Lipari Landfill (PDF)(19 pp, 5.3 MB) New Jersey 2 2020
Loring Air Force Base (PDF)(18 pp, 5.7 MB) Maine 1 2018
Macalloy Corporation (PDF) (9 pp, 389 K) South Carolina 4 2012
Martin-Marietta, Sodyeco, Inc. (PDF)(10 pp, 1.5 MB) North Carolina 4 2018
Materials Technology Laboratory (US Army) (PDF) (11 pp, 1.8 MB) Massachusetts 1 2018
Midvale Slag (PDF)(38 pp, 3.1 MB) Utah 8 2015
Murray Smelter (PDF) (10 pp, 1.0 MB) Utah 8 2012
Naval Industrial Reserve Ordnance Plant (PDF)(13 pp, 2.4 MB) Minnesota 5 2020
North Penn Area 12 (PDF) (6 pp, 448 K) Pennsylvania 3 2014
North Ridge Estates (PDF) (13 pp, 2.2 MB) Oregon 10 2018
Northwest Pipe & Casing/Hall Process Company (PDF)(10 pp, 1.1 MB) Oregon 10 2015
Onondaga Lake (PDF) (12 pp, 2 MB) New York 2 2018
Operating Industries, Inc. Landfill (PDF)(10 pp, 1.9 MB) California 9 2020
Pacific Sound Resources (PDF) (12 pp, 1.3 MB) Washington 10 2013
Pease Air Force Base (PDF) (37 pp, 2.2 MB) New Hampshire 1 2018
Peterson/Puritan, Inc. (PDF) (19 pp, 1.3 MB) Rhode Island 1 2014
Phoenix-Goodyear Airport Area (PDF)(18 pp, 968 K) Arizona 9 2015
PJP Landfill (PDF)(11 pp, 2.2 MB) New Jersey 2 2016
PMC Groundwater (PDF) (13 pp, 1.2 MB) Michigan 5 2014
Portland Cement (Kiln Dust 2 & 3) (PDF)(12 pp, 1.7 MB) Utah 8 2019
Raymark Industries, Inc. (PDF)(9 pp, 1.3 MB) Connecticut 1 2016
Recreational Redevelopment at Superfund Sites (PDF)(9 pp, 2.4 MB) Multiple Multiple 2020
Reynolds Metals Company (PDF)(10 pp, 1.9 MB) Oregon 10 2019
Roebling Steel Company (PDF)(14 pp, 1.3 MB) New Jersey 2 2016
RSR Corporation (PDF)(56 pp, 3.7 MB) Texas 6 2015
San Fernando Valley (Area 1) (PDF)(30 pp, 5.8 MB) California 9 2018
Sherwood Medical Co. (PDF)(8 pp, 1  MB) Nebraska 7 2015
SMS Instruments, Inc. (PDF) (6 pp, 1.1 MB) New York 2 2014
Sola Optical USA, Inc. (PDF)(7 pp, 727 K) California 9 2016
Solitron Microwave (PDF) (7 pp, 607 K) Florida 4 2012
South Andover (PDF) (11 pp, 398 K) Minnesota 5 2011
South Bay Asbestos Area (PDF)(15 pp, 766 K) California 9 2015
South Point Plant (PDF) (15 pp, 4.2 MB) Ohio 5 2020
Southside Sanitary Landfill (PDF) (6 pp, 255 K) Indiana 5 2011
State Marine of Port Arthur/Palmer Barge Line (PDF)(9 pp, 777 K) Texas 6 2017
Strother Field Industrial Park (PDF)(12 pp, 1.4 MB) Kansas 7 2015
Tucson International Airport Area (PDF)(27 pp, 1.6 MB) Arizona 9 2016
Universal Oil Products (Chemical Division) (PDF) (11 pp, 1.2 MB) New Jersey 2 2013
Vasquez Boulevard & I-70 (PDF)(147 pp, 4.3 MB) Colorado 8 2017
Vertac, Inc. (PDF) (9 pp, 610 K) Arkansas 6 2012
Waite Park Wells (PDF)(17 pp, 2 MB) Minnesota 5 2018
Waste Disposal, Inc. (PDF) (13 pp, 752 K) California 9 2014
Wells G&H (PDF) (40 pp, 2.3 MB) Massachusetts 1 2018
Welsbach and General Gas Mantle (PDF)(10 pp, 1.8 MB) New Jersey 2 2015
Whitmoyer Laboratories (PDF)(13 pp, 5.8 MB) Pennsylvania 3 2020

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Information about Site-Specific Economic Highlights

The reuse of Superfund sites provides a wide range of benefits to local communities across the country. Some of these benefits are easy to quantify, while others are not. For example, commercial or industrial reuse of a site can bolster local economies by supporting jobs and generating sales revenues. However, not all sites in reuse involve an on-site business or other land use that would employ people. Therefore, economic information is not available for all sites in reuse. This could be attributed to several factors, including:

  • There may be no revenue-generating businesses operating on site.
  • There may be a business or businesses operating on site for which economic information is not available.
  • In some cases, due to the large footprint of a site, it is not feasible to collect economic information for such a large area (i.e., an entire town). In these cases, a site snapshot may discuss widespread site reuse, but economic information may not be available for the site.
  • Due to a time lag between when site snapshots are updated and when economic information is added to SURE, it is possible that economic research may not be performed to capture new reuse mentioned in a snapshot until after the snapshot has been updated.  

Many sites without businesses have beneficial effects that are not easily quantified, such as properties providing ecological or recreational benefits (e.g., parks, wetlands, ecological habitat, open space). Also, not all sites in reuse are well-suited for revenue-generating reuse. If a site is not located in an area appropriate for commercial or industrial reuse, it may not be a realistic option to have it redeveloped into something that will support jobs. EPA’s Superfund Redevelopment Initiative quantifies many types of beneficial effects of reuse at Superfund sites including the number of on-site jobs, estimated annual employment income and sales revenue generated by on-site businesses.

EPA obtains economic data for sites in reuse from reputable sources. Information on the number of employees and sales volume for on-site businesses typically comes from the Hoovers/Dun & Bradstreet (D&BExit) database. When Hoovers/D&B database research is not able to identify employment and sales information for on-site businesses, EPA uses the MantaExit and ReferenceUSAExit databases. These databases include data reported by businesses. Accordingly, some reported values might be underestimates or overestimates. In some instances, business and employment information come from local newspaper stories/articles and discussions with local officials and business representatives. In general, economic information gathered for sites in reuse is conservative, based on available resources. In some cases, especially for exceptionally large sites, the economic information presented may not be comprehensive of the entire site, presenting a conservative estimate of the economic benefits of reuse at the given site.

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