Lessons learned from decades of Superfund cleanups guide contaminated land reuse

Sites repurposed for residential, commercial use, and solar energy generation.

April 25, 2018 |

After decades of remediation of contaminated properties funded by the federal Superfund program, some important lessons have emerged for reusing these sites.

Involving the local community and creating a vision for reuse early in the cleanup process is vital. It’s also critical to perform the right level of remediation for the intended use.

For example, a site intended for a new school or residential development needs more thorough cleanup than one meant for a new parking lot. Solar energy generation has become a popular choice for reuse, as this option takes land that was out of use instead of more valuable farmland or forestland.

Based on EPA analysis of 487 of the 888 Superfund sites in reuse, there were about 6,600 businesses in 2017 located on remediated properties. Their operations employed more than 156,000 people and generated annual sales of $43.6 billion.

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